By Glen Sparks
Congratulations to the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Baseball Writers Association voted in pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and infielder Craig Biggio. The pitchers were elected in their first year on the ballot, while Biggio made it on his third try.
This was the first time that the writers have elected three pitchers in the same year and the first time since 1955 that they have elected four players from the same ballot. (Who were those four players? The answer is at the end of the article.)
Johnson led the way with 97.3 percent of the vote. Martinez got 91.1 percent, followed by Smoltz with 82.9 percent and Biggio with 82.7. Candidates need 75 percent of the vote for induction. Mike Piazza missed out with 69.9 percent. Jeff Bagwell, with 55.7 percent, also came up short. Tim Raines (55 percent) was the only other candidate to get at least 50 percent of the vote.
The 2015 Hall of Fame ceremony will be held July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
(The four players elected to the Class of 1955 were Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Dazzy Vance.)