Baseball Hall Of Fame Welcomes Historic Class Of 2015 (But Not Mike Piazza)

The Hall calls have been made.

Former Major League Baseball stars Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio have been elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame by The Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The crowded 2015 Hall of Fame ballot featured 34 retired players, including 17 newcomers to the ballot and 17 holdovers from previous elections. The trio of Cy Young Award-winning pitchers who earned enshrinement in Cooperstown were on the ballot for the first time. Biggio, making his third appearance on the ballot, was the lone holdover to be elected. He came up two votes short in 2014.

The four-member class that will be inducted on July 26 is the largest since 1955 when Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Dazzy Vance were elected. It was the first time that the writers had honored three pitchers in the same election. Players need to appear on 75 percent of BBWA ballots in a single year to gain admittance into the Hall. Johnson, a 5-time Cy Young Award winner who led his league in strikeouts nine times, appeared on 97.3 percent of ballots. Martinez, a 3-time Cy Young Award winner whose 1999, 2000 seasons will be remembered as some of the most dominant of all time, appeared on 91.1 percent of ballots. Smoltz, a Cy Young Award winner who excelled as a starter and reliever, appeared on 82.9 percent of the ballots. Biggio, a member of the 3,000-hit club who won four Gold Glove Awards, appeared on 82.7 percent of ballots, up from 74.8 percent in 2014.

Mike Piazza, a 12-time All-Star selection with more home runs than any other catcher in MLB history, came up 28 votes short of election in 2015, appearing on 69.9% of ballots. A star with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, Piazza never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his 16-year career and was not one of 89 players named MLB's Mitchell Report on PED use in 2007. But he has been dogged by suspicions that he may have used illicit substances. Piazza's vote total has increased in each of his three years on the ballot. In his first year on the ballot in 2013, Piazza appeared 57.8 percent of ballots. He got 62.2 percent of the vote in 2013.

Along with Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were the only former players to appear on more than 50 percent of ballots. Several superstars from the sports' so-called "Steroids Era" remain on the ballot but far from election, notably Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

2015 Hall Of Fame Voting Results, via The Associated Press:

549 votes cast, 412 needed

Randy Johnson 534 (97.3, Pedro Martinez 500 (91.9), John Smoltz 455 (82.9), Craig Biggio 454 (82.7), Mike Piazza 384 (69.9), Jeff Bagwell 306 (55.7), Tim Raines 302 (55.0), Curt Schilling 215 (39.2), Roger Clemens 206 (37.5), Barry Bonds 202 (36.8), Lee Smith 166 (30.2), Edgar Martinez 148 (27.0), Alan Trammell 138 (25.1), Mike Mussina 135 (24.6), Jeff Kent 77 (14.0), Fred McGriff 71 (12.9), Larry Walker 65 (11.8), Gary Sheffield 64 (11.7), Mark McGwire 55 (10.0), x-Don Mattingly 50 (9.1), Sammy Sosa 36 (6.6), Nomar Garciaparra 30 (5.5), Carlos Delgado 21 (3.8), Troy Percival 4 (0.7), Aaron Boone and Tom Gordon 2 (0.4), Darin Erstad 1 (0.2) and Rich Aurilia, Tony Clark, Jermaine Dye, Cliff Floyd, Brian Giles, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt (0).

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