Griffey tops newcomers on HOF ballot
NEW YORK (AP) — Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are among 15 newcomers on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot and will face a newly trimmed electorate along with steroid-tainted holdovers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
David Eckstein, Troy Glaus, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell and Billy Wagner also are among the players eligible for the first time on the 32-man ballot announced Monday. A vote of at least 75 percent from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America is needed for election. Results will be announced Jan. 6.
The Hall’s board of directors announced a change in July, cutting voters from about 600 to 450 by eliminating writers who had not been active in the game for more than 10 years. Previously, the electorate included people who had been active BBWAA members for 10 consecutive years at any point.
Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were elected in 2015, the first time since 1955 writers picked a quartet of players in one year.
Griffey, a unanimous pick for the 1997 AL MVP award, is a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner who hit 630 homers, sixth on the career list.
Hoffman is a seven-time All-Star who had 601 saves, second to Mariano Rivera’s 652.
Mike Piazza (69.9 percent) fell 28 votes short last year and returns along with Jeff Bagwell (55.7 percent), Tim Raines (55.0), Curt Schilling (39.2), Roger Clemens (37.5), Bonds 202 (36.8) and Lee Smith (30.2).
Alan Trammell (25.1) and McGwire (10.0) are in their final year of eligibility. Sosa (6.6) is in danger of falling below the 5 percent threshold needed to stay on the ballot.
Votes must be submitted by Dec. 21. Players elected along with choices announced Dec. 7 by the pre-integration era committee (through 1946) will be inducted July 24 at Cooperstown.
The ballot: Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker, Randy Winn.