The results of voting for the 2016 class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame were announced tonight, with CF Ken Griffey Jr. and C Mike Piazza receiving more than the 75% of votes needed for induction. There were 440 ballots cast — more than 100 fewer than last year after many inactive writers had their votes taken away — and 437 voted for Griffey, giving him a record-setting 99.3% of the vote in his first year of eligibility. In his fourth year on the ballot, Piazza was named on 365 writers’ ballots, giving him 83%.
Griffey finished his career with 630 home runs, currently sixth on the all-time list, in 22 seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox. The .284 career hitter was a 13-time All-Star who won 10 Gold Gloves in his career and was named the American League MVP in 1997, when he hit 56 home runs and 147 RBI, both career highs for the second-generation major leaguer. If he goes into the Hall with a Mariners hat on his plaque, he would be the first player representing that team in the Hall of Fame.
Piazza is one of the top-hitting catchers in baseball history. In his 16-year career, he hit .308 with 427 home runs — a record 396 of which were hit as a catcher. The 1993 National League Rookie of the Year was selected to the All-Star team 12 times and won 10 Silver Slugger awards at catcher. Piazza played for five teams in his career, most notably the Dodgers and Mets; he is expected to have a Mets hat on his Hall of Fame plaque.
Just missing the cut this year were 1B Jeff Bagwell and OF Tim Raines, who got 71.6% and 69.8 percent of the vote, respectively. Bagwell has four years left on the ballot, but Raines was on the ballot for the ninth year, meaning 2017 will be his last chance at being elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. If history is any indication, both have a good chance of getting elected last year; 16 of 17 players who got 70% of the vote, but less than 75%, were inducted the following year. P Trevor Hoffman had a good showing in his first year of eligibility, earning 67.3% of the vote. On the other end of the spectrum, 1B Mark McGwire got just 12% of the vote in his 10th and final year on the ballot.
The 2016 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.