A year after the Baseball Writers' Association of American failed to elect a single player into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, three baseball legends were awarded the unrivaled honor on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were all selected in their first year of eligibility.
NBC News confirmed the selections:
BREAKING: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas elected to Baseball Hall of Fame - @MLB— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 8, 2014
Meanwhile, former Houston Astros star Craig Biggio, who recorded over 3,000 hits during his MLB career, came painfully close, receiving 74.8 percent of the 75 percent of votes required.
Following the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, writers, analysts and fans took to Twitter to express themselves.
Sports columnist and voter Rob Parker didn't waste any time proudly announcing his ballot:
On my Hall of Fame ballot, I voted for Maddux, Glavine and Thomas. Shame on my BBWAA brethren for not voting 4 Biggio. 3,000 hits is magic #— Rob Parker (@RobParkerLocal4) January 8, 2014
As ESPN Stats & Info points out, Maddux's 97.2 percent of votes received is among the highest marks in history:
Greg Maddux received 97.2 percent of the vote, the eighth-highest total in the history of BBWAA balloting.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 8, 2014
Maddux and Glavine are the 1st pair of Hall of Fame classmates both to record voting percentages in the 90th-percentile since 2007.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 8, 2014
The Association's top choice even earned a shoutout from Nevada senator Harry Reid:
Congratulations to Hall of Fame inductee Greg Maddux, a true master of his trade and the pride of Nevada today.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) January 8, 2014
Maddux, who won four National League Cy Young Awards from 1992 through 1995, finished his prolific career with 355 wins, enough to rank eighth on the all-time list.
Paul Pabst, producer on The Dan Patrick Show, offered a fair punishment suggestion for the handful of voters who left Maddux off their ballots:
The 2.8% of Hall of Fame voters who didn't vote for Greg Maddux should go run a lap.— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) January 8, 2014
A former teammate of Maddux's with the Atlanta Braves, Glavine won 305 games over the course of his career and earned 10 All-Star nods to go along with two National League Cy Young Awards.
Here's a look at Glavine as he learned he had been selected, per WXIA-TV in Atlanta:
ESPN's Jeff Goodman was among the many who took to social media to congratulate the former World Series MVP:
Really happy that Tom Glavine got into Hall of Fame. First story I ever wrote was on Glavine. No one painted the outside corner better.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) January 8, 2014
Thomas was a two-time American League MVP in the early 1990s and finished with a career batting average of .301.
Matt Callaway, Texas A&M's assistant director of media relations, expressed the heartbreak that many felt after learning just how close Biggio came to being elected:
Gutted that Biggio missed the Hall of Fame by .2%, dude was an all-star at 3 positions and none of them was DH #BiggioHOF— Matt Callaway (@MCallawayTAMU) January 8, 2014
Jeff Bagwell, who also did not make the cut, talked about Biggio's miss (via Mark Berman of Fox 26):
Jeff Bagwell on Craig Biggio not getting in Hall of Fame: "I'm devastated. I don't get it. I don't get how anybody can't vote for Craig."— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 8, 2014
Pete Rose also endorsed Biggio, adding that Mike Piazza deserved a spot as well:
I thought Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza should of joined them, however we don't live in a perfect world.— Pete Rose (@PeteRose_14) January 8, 2014
Unsurprisingly, many, including ESPN's Bill Simmons and CBS Sports' Will Brinson, were critical of the process:
1 more tradition: Today's the day when everyone flips out b/c the most broken place in sports, the Baseball Hall of Fame, re-breaks itself.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 8, 2014
How many Hall of Fame votes did * get this year?— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 8, 2014
While the three inductees were celebrated for their brilliant careers, those buried beneath the cloud of performance-enhancing drugs were overlooked. Although only time will tell if players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens make their way into the Hall, this year's voting results were anything but encouraging for them or any other candidate linked to PEDs, per NBC Sports:
Totals for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens actually declined in this round of voting.— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) January 8, 2014
There were also a few odd votes out there, as pointed out by Fox Sports' Jimmy Traina:
Players who actually received Hall of Fame votes today: Hideo Nomo, Armando Benitez, JT Snow, Jacque Jones, Kenny Rogers and Eric Gagne.— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) January 8, 2014
Maddux, Glavine and Thomas will join Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa at July's induction ceremony in Cooperstown. The three legendary managers were selected to the Hall on Dec. 9 by the Expansion Era Committee.
The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for the weekend of July 26-27.
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