Who Will Get the Call for the Hall?

By Glen Sparks

Andrew Malone photo/Will Pedro Martinez be a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

Andrew Malone photo/Will Pedro Martinez be a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

(Just a quick post today as I get ready to leave town for a few days.)

Should Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz be making plans for a late summer trip to Cooperstown, N.Y.? Will this be the year that Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling get the call?

The Baseball Writers’ Association of American has announced the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. Seventeen newcomers and 17 holdovers are up for election. This article from the Hall of Fame has plenty of details about the candidates and their statistics. Every member of the Writers’ Association can choose up 10 players. Candidates must gain 75 percent of the vote to be elected.

Any player who completes at least 10 years in the majors goes on the ballot five years after his retirement. He needs at least 5 percent to remain eligible and can stay on the ballot for a decade (lowered from 15 years for the 2015 election). Don Mattingly, for instance, is in his final year of eligibility. If he is not voted in, he will become eligible for consideration by the Expansion Era Committee beginning in the fall of 2016.

Just a quick note: We’re getting a lengthy backlog of candidates. Obviously, players like Rich Aurilia, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt will be one-time candidates. What about the some of the aforementioned candidates, plus Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield?

The steroid era messed up things, clearly, especially with candidates like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. But this is time to vote in a large class.

Larry Walker? Alan Trammel? Jeff Kent?

Five players were elected to the Hall in the inaugural class of 1936. Since then, the Writers’ Association has elected four candidates just twice: 1947 and 1955.

Announcements for the 2015 Hall class will be made Dec. 8.

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