With the results of the final Baseball Hall of Fame voting just a week away, there is a very interesting story developing. Several players headline a star-studded cast of candidates, and at the forefront is former Cub pitcher Greg Maddux.
More impressive than Maddux being a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer is the fact that the right-hander has the chance to be the first player in major league history to be a unanimous vote-getter.
Nobody, not even the likes of Babe Ruth, Willie Mays or Hank Aaron were voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. That fact may point to Maddux not getting voted in unanimously, but according to Baseball Think Factory, there is still a chance.
As of 9 a.m. on January 1, Maddux had received 100 percent of the BBWAA's 99 reported votes. The 300-game-winner still has a way to go; those 99 votes represent 17.4 percent of last year's vote total.
Nonetheless, Maddux having 100 percent of the votes with about one-fifth of the votes reported is impressive in its own right. That speaks to his superior work ethic, preparation and class in his nearly quarter century playing the game.
According to the same report, pitcher Tom Glavine, slugger Frank Thomas and utility man Craig Biggio are projected to be inducted with Maddux. Just outside the field is catcher Mike Piazza, who has received 72.7 percent of the 99 votes. Every candidate has to receive 75 percent of the vote in order to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
After no players were elected in 2013, this year could realistically produce five Hall of Famers.
Other former Cub Sammy Sosa is in slight danger of dropping off of the Hall of Fame ballot altogether. The only player ever to have multiple 60-plus home run seasons has received only 8.1 percent of the 99 submitted votes. Any player that drops below five percent of the vote in a given year is dropped off the ballot for following years.
While there are still plenty of votes to be submitted, Maddux has a legitimate chance to be voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, a feat that has never been achieved. It would be yet another accolade for Maddux to add to the long list he accumulated over his illustrious 23-year career.