MLB Hall of Fame Ballot 2015


Johnson, Smoltz, Martinez, and Biggio get elected into the Hall of Fame

An elite player’s career is not complete until he reaches the ultimate goal of being enshrined into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. This year major league baseball enforced a new rule that would send many potential hall of fame candidates off of the ballot.

This year’s ballot consisted of many influential stars such as Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, along with many others; however, on January 6 only Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio made it in.

Randy Johnson, a 6-foot-10 left-handed pitcher who posted 303 wins in his 22 year career received 97.3 % of the votes with 534 all together. Johnson says, “The Hall of Fame was never something that I surely ever thought about.” He also posted a career 3.29 ERA and won four consecutive Cy Young awards from 1999 through 2002.

Pedro Martinez, a Dominican-born pitcher, was also elected and received 91.1 % of the votes with 500 all together. Martinez won 219 games, had 3,154 strike outs, led the major leagues in ERA five times, and spent most of his career in Boston. He also won three Cy Young Awards. After being elected Martinez said, “I saw everybody as an enemy, and I saw everybody as like in a jungle: You just kill to survive. And that’s the intensity and the focus I had to keep to do it every day on a day-to-day basis.”

John Smoltz, another right-handed pitcher, received 82.9 % and received 455 votes. Smoltz was a big part of Atlanta’s dynasty during the 90’s and helped the Braves win the 1995 World Series. Smoltz, despite being out-shined by Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, who were elected into the Hall of Fame last year, still made an impact on voters and is the only player to record 200 career wins and 150 career saves. He also won the 1996 NL Cy Young Award and was 15-4 in the postseason.

Johnson, Martinez, and Smoltz are all pitchers that dominated in an era plagued with offensive explosions caused by PEDs.

The only non-pitcher to be elected into the Hall of Fame this year is Craig Biggio. Unlike the other candidates who are on their first year on the ballot, Biggio is on his third year. “It definitely wasn’t the same,” said Biggio after being elected, “I was a nervous dog this morning. I haven’t been this anxious in a long time.” Biggio is 20th on the all-time hits list with 3,060 and had a career batting average of .281. He also spent his entire 20-year career with the Astros and hit 291 home-runs and had 1175 RBIs.

This year, Major League Baseball enforced a rule that has never been seen before; a player has to receive five percent of the votes to remain on the ballot. For the 2016 ballot, 13 players got kicked off the ballot this year. A few of these players are Carlos Delgado, Brian Giles, Cliff Floyd, and Don Mattingly. This new rule has sparked controversy as many writers and members of the baseball community disagree.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio will join many of the baseball greats in Cooperstown. There also hasn’t been a group of four players to be elected into the Hall of Fame at once since 1955. However, the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot consisted of some of the best players that have ever played the game.