By the time I get home from school today, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame should announce their class for 2017. From my seat, Wednesday morning (okay, I cheated, Tuesday night,) I have a pretty good idea of what will happen based on the public votes on Ryan Thibodaux’s HoF Tracker.
For sure there will be at least two voted in, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. Good on them. There is no doubt in my mind they should be there. Ivan Rodriguez is looking like he might edge in. He is a 78.6% of the vote with with 54.7% of the vote counted. Less likely candidates are Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero, who are currently below 75%. So unless there is a late surge, two maybe three players will get over the 75% hump. I hope it’s more.
Next on the list is Edgar Martinez. Edgar is not at all likely to get into the Hall this year, though he has not yet been mathematically eliminated from possibility. He is currently at 65.5%. He is likely to finish about 20% higher than last year’s 43.9%. Edgar picked up a passel of new votes. On the Tracker, he picked up a net of 42 new votes, far more than any other player. It seems likely he should be able to chart a path to the Hall of Fame in 2019, his last year of eligibility.
My hope is that the 2017 class is as big as possible. The more that are voted in, the less competition for votes he’ll have as the 2018 class is ushered on to the ballot. There are some good ones next year. Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Scott Rolen and Omar Vizquel are the most likely candidates to compete with holdovers from the current ballot. If voters are counting down their top ten candidates and we’re still looking at Vlad and Hoffman on the ballot, that could make it tough on our favorite Mariners DH.The rules that allow only ten votes, and the division among voters over PED use really make it difficult to unclog the ballot for all but the clearest first-ballot candidates.
My fingers are crossed for today’s announcement, and best wishes for all the players.