Larry Walker's Canadian baseball legacy should tip Hall of Fame scales

Posted January 26, 2018

Jones and Thome both earned the distinction of being first-ballot Hall of Famers in voting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with the results announced by Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Just missing the cut was Mariners legend Edgar Martinez (70.4), whose bid to become the first player who served primarily as a designated hitter to make the Hall will have to wait another year. He was named to eight All-Star teams, won the 1999 National League MVP award and hit.303/.401/.529 in 19 MLB seasons.

Guerrero, a second year selection, will forever be known as one of the most unsafe sluggers to ever grace the batter's box for the Expos and Angels.

Guerrero was the last superstar for the Montreal Expos, electrifying the franchise for most of its final seasons. In 2016, Schilling had 52.3 percent of votes, but he dropped to 45 percent previous year.

Hoffman, who racked up 601 career saves during an 18-year career spent nearly exclusively with the San Diego Padres, had no desire to dive into the steroid-era controversy on his election day.

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In July, the four newest inductees will join both Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, who were elected by the veterans committee in December, in Cooperstown, when the six are will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony.

Hoffman becomes the sixth member of the Hall of Fame who spent most of his career as a reliever.

"I think everybody is pretty excited", Hoffman said. And, at 36, he hit.364 to win a batting title; the only players who ever logged a higher average at that age or older were Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, Zack Wheat, Babe Ruth, Tony Gwynn and Barry Bonds.

Chipper Jones and Jim Thome would have been automatic picks in any era. Everything pointed to those four getting in this year. Thome is the first former Cleveland Indian to be elected to the Hall since Bob Lemon in 1976. In the first few years of interleague play, the AL East was usually matched up against the NL East, so the Orioles and Braves had a near-annual series against each other for much of Jones' career. Bonds got 56.4% and Clemens got 57.3%, averaging an increase of about 3%.

In my opinion, Bonds and Clemens were caught, so that's that.

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Ninety-seven percent of the voters chose Jones in the balloting. He had the third-most home runs by switch-hitters.

They still have a chance to make a surge next year, because the ballot will not be almost so crowded with strong candidates.

Pete Rose, permanently banned from Major League Baseball after an investigation into his betting on the game, didn't receive any write-in votes, as he often has in the past.

Are you satisfied with this year's Hall of Fame class? But his peak years also came during his time with the Rockies and it's impossible to say with certainty that playing elsewhere would have vastly diminished his numbers.

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