Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Pudge Rodriguez voted into Baseball Hall of Fame
The votes have all been tallied, and three new baseball legends are headed to Cooperstown.
Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan “Pudge Rodriguez” have all been voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 2017.
Raines received 86% of the vote to secure his spot in Cooperstown in his final year of eligibility on the ballot. The outfielder played 23 seasons, 13 with the Montreal Expos. He was an All Star in seven consecutive seasons for Montreal, and led the league in stolen bases in four of those.
In his seventh year on the ballot, Bagwell earned 86.2% of the vote necessary for induction, upping his percentage from 71.6% last year and passing the 75% induction threshold. Bagwell was Rookie of the Year in 1991 for the Houston Astros, and went on to win MVP three seasons later. The first baseman was a durable slugger who spent all 15 years of his career in Houston and was a four time All-Star selection.
“Pudge” Rodriguez earned 76% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. The catcher's illustrious career included 14 All-Star selections, 13 Gold Gloves, seven Silver Sluggers and one MVP award over 21 years, the bulk of which were played for the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers.
Just missing was former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who got 74% of the vote, up from 67.3% last year. The Padres' closer secured 601 saves in his 18 year career, which is second only to future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera (652) and 123 more than Lee Smith in third place. Hoffman put together nine 40-save seasons, tied with Rivera for the most of all time. He will have to wait another year.
Former Expos slugger Vladimir Guerrero captured 71.7% of votes in his first year of eligibility, after ending his 16-year career in 2011. He played eight years for the Expos and six for the Angels, winning the MVP award in his first season in Anaheim. He was a nine-time All Star and an eight-time Silver Slugger, hitting .379 with a .553 slugging percentage for his career.
Other big names missing out include Barry Bonds (53.8%) and Roger Clemens (54.1%), who have been linked to PED use that has provoked many writers to leave them off. Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent will also have to wait until next year to try for a ticket to the Hall.