The 2016 Hall of Fame Class has been decided: 13-time All-Star Ken Griffey, Jr. and 12-time All-Star Mike Piazza have been added to the Hall’s elite group of baseball legends.
Griffey, Jr. was selected on a record 99.3% of ballots this year–only 3 ballots did not include his name. Piazza entered at an 83.0% selection rate.
Griffey, Jr. was the first overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 1987 MLB Draft, becoming the first No. 1 pick elected to the Hall of Fame. He spent eleven seasons in Seattle, gathering 13 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers, and an MVP in ’97 over his career. He later was traded to the Cincinatti Reds and signed a 9 year extension with Cincy. He will forever be known as the “Kid”.
Piazza, on the other hand, was selected in the 62 round of the 1988 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the lowest drafted player to enter the Hall of Fame. In his six years as a Dodger, he won the Rookie of the Year in 1993, 5 Silver Sluggers, and 6 All-Star selections. He was later traded from the Marlins to the New York Mets, where he spent eight years with. He finished his career as a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger, and he is widely regarded as one of the best offensive catchers in the game.
A few guys narrowly missed the cut of 75.0% and if history repeats itself, they’ll all have good chance of getting in 2017. 4-time All-Star Jeff Bagwell (71.6%), 7-time All-Star Tim Raines (69.8%), and 7-time All-Star Trevor Hoffman (67.3%) all will be receiving serious attention and have a great chance of entering the Hall very soon. In Raines’s case, he will be in his last year of eligibility next year, which should only help his case.
Next year’s Hall of Fame class is looking very special as some very special names are entering their first year of Hall eligibility. 14-time All-Star Ivan Rodriguez and 9-time All-Star Vladimir Guerrero are near-locks to be entered in their first year on the ballot. Others include 6-time All-Star Magglio Ordoñez, 5-time All-Star Jorge Posada, 12-time All-Star Manny Ramirez (though his two PED suspensions will surely hurt his case), 5-time All-Star Édgar Rentería, and former captain of the Red Sox, Jason Varitek.
Are you all excited for 2017’s class? Do you think Bagwell, Raines, or Hoffman should have made it this year? Are you upset that Griffey didn’t receive 100% of the votes? Sound off below!