Hall of Fame votes for 2016 are released on Wednesday, January 6. The Baseball Hall of Fame is expected to honor former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. with an induction ceremony this summer, but will any other players join his class? In the updated tracker of public Hall of Fame votes, Griffey has still received 100 percent of the 174 reported ballots. This bodes very well for his candidacy and could lead to Griffey receiving the highest voting percentage in the history of Cooperstown.
The latest voting totals are looking less appealing for other candidates at this time. Baseball analyst Ryan Thibodaux has been keeping track of the announcements made by every sports writer around the country. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America are voting to determine the Hall of Fame class for 2016 and many have decided to make their votes public. Thibodaux has worked hard to keep a running total of those public ballots, showcasing which candidates are receiving a lot of early support.
The other leaders in the 2016 Hall of Fame vote are Mike Piazza (86.2 percent), Jeff Bagwell (79.3), Tim Raines (77.6), Trevor Hoffman (62.1), Curt Schilling (58.6), Mike Mussina (52.3), and Barry Bonds (50.0). A candidate needs to receive at least 75 percent of the estimated 450 total votes to get inducted. The public ballots reveal extensive support for Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, and Tim Raines, but there are still a lot of votes left to be counted.
Last year, Piazza and Bagwell did not do well with the non-public ballots. Piazza received 75.1 percent of public ballots and 62.1 percent of secret ballots. That is a 13.0 percent swing that could show he might not be safe at 86.2 percent this year. Bagwell received 60.5 percent of public ballots and 48.4 percent of non-public ballots. That’s a 12.1 percent swing that could certainly put his candidacy in jeorpardy this year as well. With Tim Raines, he received 60.2 percent of the public votes and just 47.0 percent of the non-public votes.
In the 2015 Hall of Fame vote, four candidates (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio) got elected to Cooperstown. Mike Piazza finished with 69.9 percent, Jeff Bagwell had 55.7 percent, Tim Raines was at 55.0 percent, and Curt Schilling was at 39.2 percent. It was assumed by many baseball analysts that Piazza could see a huge bump this year, and that Bagwell could also see a bump in support after four names came off the list.
This is the last year that Alan Trammell and Mark McGwire will be on the Hall of Fame ballot, so it is expected that some BBWAA writers will toss votes in their direction. Among the public votes, Trammell is at 46.0 percent, while McGwire is down at 13.8 percent. The biggest gainer in this year’s vote, as compared to the 2015 vote, is Edgar Martinez of the Seattle Mariners. After finishing 2015 with just 27.0 percent of the vote, he has received 46.0 percent of the public vote in 2016. This shows that Martinez is trending in the right direction and could receive his highest vote total since becoming HOF eligible.
The 2016 Hall of Fame voting has been taking place for nearly a month, and the people in charge are just about ready to announce the new class. That announcement is going to come on Wednesday, January 6 at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET. It is at that time when baseball fans will find out whether Ken Griffey Jr. was able to become the first player to ever draw 100 percent of the vote. That record is the 98.84 percent that Tom Seaver received in 1992 when 425-of-430 voters supported him. The second best mark belongs to Nolan Ryan with 98.79 percent in 1999.
There is going to be a lot of debating among fans and baseball analysts on Wednesday as the big reveal draws closer. Quite a few voters were removed from the process during the last baseball season, so it could yield some interesting results for 2016. To this point 114 players have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. At least one more will join their ranks when the official 2016 Hall of Fame vote is revealed.
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