Randy Johnson heads Hall of Fame's class of 2015
NEW YORK - For the first time in 60 years, four players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz were selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. They were joined by former Hou...
NEW YORK – For the first time in 60 years, four players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz were selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. They were joined by former Houston Astros infielder Craig Biggio, a member of the
The results of the voting were announced Tuesday.
Falling just short of the 75 percent threshold for election was longtime major league catcher Mike Piazza, who was named on 69.9 percent of the ballots but was 28 votes shy. Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz were on the ballot for the first time, making it the second year in a row that three first-time candidates made it in their initial year of eligibility. Last year, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were first-ballot inductees.
Biggio, the first Houston Astros player to join the Hall of Fame, was chosen after missing last year by two votes. He collected 3,060 career hits, all with the Astros.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“I haven’t been this excited or antsy or nervous in any baseball game I’ve ever played,” Biggio told MLB Network. “I was real anxious and very grateful and humble to be able to be elected into the Hall of Fame.
“I was so excited, I was crying, I ain’t going to lie. I’m 49 years old – I was an emotional mess when it happened. Then I asked them if it was a prank phone call.”
Johnson won five Cy Young awards during his career – one with the Seattle Mariners and four with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the top vote-getter this year, appearing on 534 of a possible 547 ballots.
The only players with a higher percentage of votes in history are Tom Seaver (98.94), Nolan Ryan (98.7), Cal Ripken Jr. (98.5), Ty Cobb (98.2), George Brett (98.2), Hank Aaron (97.8) and Tony Gwynn (97.6).
“The Hall of Fame was never something that I surely ever thought about,” Johnson said.
Martinez, a Cy Young Award winner with the Montreal Expos in 1997 and for the Boston Red Sox in 1999 and 2000, was named on 91.9 percent of the ballots.
“So many people in the Dominican Republic and so many people all over the world got to know me as a player but not as a person,” Martinez told the MLB Network. “What I mean to the Dominican Republic – it was a great honor to just have the opportunity to go on the first ballot.”
Smoltz, the 1996 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Atlanta Braves, received 82.9 percent and Biggio 82.7 percent.
“I’m honored, I’m humbled, and when the phone call came I was, for the first time ever, speechless,” Smoltz told MLB Network.
The last time four players were elected in the same year was 1955 when Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Dazzy Vance and Ted Lyons went in together.