Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez and Tim Raines will take their rightful place in Cooperstown, New York, after they were announced as the three inductees for the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame.
Per BBWAA.com, Bagwell received 86.2 percent of the votes, Raines got 86 percent and Rodriguez got 76 percent. Players are required to receive 75 percent for induction.
|2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Class|
|Jeff Bagwell, 1B (1991-2005)||86.2 (381 votes out of 442 ballots)|
|Tim Raines, OF/DH (1979-2002)||86.0 (380 out of 442)|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C (1991-2011)||76.0 (336 out of 442)|
|Bud Selig, Former MLB Commissioner*||N/A|
|John Schuerholz, Former MLB GM*||N/A|
*Previously announced by Today's Game Era committee in December
Baseball Reference tweeted out full vote totals for players on the ballot:
Baseball Reference @baseball_ref
The vote totals from @baseballhall https://t.co/mb0Mt0MTNi https://t.co/dfNwEqMipR2017-1-18 23:05:17
Raines was the name commanding a lot of attention this year because it was his final year on the ballot. The seven-time All-Star just missed out making the Hall of Fame in 2016 with 69.8 percent of the vote.
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated made the case for Raines to be inducted into Cooperstown, notably highlighting his peak years from 1983-87:
Raines broke out the next year, the beginning of a five-year plateau (1983–87) in which he hit a cumulative .318/.406/.467 and averaged 114 runs scored, 11 homers, 71 steals, a 142 OPS+ and 6.4 WAR, never falling below 5.5 in that last category. He led the NL in steals in ’83 (a career-high 90) and ’84 (75) and ranked third or fourth among NL position players in WAR in four of those five years, finishing seventh in the other. For the period as a whole, only Wade Boggs, Henderson and Cal Ripken—all AL players and future Hall of Famers—were more valuable.
ESPN Stats & Info also helped make a case for Raines:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Tim Raines had 6 consecutive seasons of at least 70 SB. No other player in MLB history had a streak longer than 4 seasons. https://t.co/pZiOo3UE832017-1-18 23:12:32
The only significant knock against Raines is that his career was hindered by injuries after 1987. He only appeared in more than 140 games three times from 1988 to 2002, but he still finished his career with a .294/.385/.425 slash line.
Other than Raines himself, no one was happier to hear he earned induction than noted Montreal Expos fan Jonah Keri. The CBSSports.com writer had this response on Twitter after the voting was announced:
Jonah Keri @jonahkeri
Tim Raines' rookie season was the year I turned 7. Now I get to take my 7-year-old twins to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame. Awesome.2017-1-18 23:12:28
"Just to know now that I'm in the [Hall of Fame], there will be a lot of proud people in Canada," Raines said, per MLB Network PR.
Bagwell's absence from the Hall of Fame was one of the more curious snubs. He has some offensive numbers that compare favorably to Ken Griffey Jr., per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal:
Jared Diamond @jareddiamond
Jeff Bagwell OPS: .948 Ken Griffey OPS: .907 We should be talking about this more.2017-1-18 21:40:05
In addition to those numbers, Bagwell was a four-time National League All-Star, 1991 NL Rookie of the Year and 1994 NL MVP. He finished his career with a .297/.408/.540 slash line, 449 home runs and 202 stolen bases.
ESPN Stats & Info noted Bagwell's stolen-base total put him in rare territory among first basemen:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Jeff Bagwell is 1 of 11 1B with 200 stolen bases since 1900. He has 449 HR (the other 10 have 549 HR combined). https://t.co/jqXdTApAt32017-1-18 23:02:27
Rodriguez was no sure thing on his first ballot. In the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America has shown an unwillingness to induct players in their first year of eligibility unless they were a transcendent talent.
In Rodriguez's 21-year career, he was named to 14 All-Star teams and won the 1999 American League MVP.
MLB Stat of the Day put together a strong case for Rodriguez to enter Cooperstown:
MLB Stat of the Day @MLBStatoftheDay
.@Pudge_Rodriguez caught more games, and won more Gold Gloves, than any @MLB catcher. #HOF2017 https://t.co/IhmYGf98042017-1-18 23:10:03
Among the players who just missed out on induction this year, Trevor Hoffman (74 percent) and Vladimir Guerrero (71.7 percent) appear likely to make it in 2018. They will be joined on the ballot by notable first-timers Chipper Jones and Jim Thome to make for a potentially interesting class.
The Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on July 30, with Bagwell, Raines and Rodriguez being enshrined with the other immortal stars of the sport.