2017 Hall of Fame Election

From BR Bullpen

The results of the 2017 Hall of Fame Election were announced on January 18, 2017. Three players were elected after receiving over 75% of the vote from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America: Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez. Before, that the results of the vote of the Veterans Committee were made public on December 4, 2016, with John Schuerholz and Bud Selig gaining admittance. All the successful candidates were inducted at a ceremony held in Cooperstown, NY on July 30, 2017.

BBWAA Voting[edit]

Eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America voted on a ballot comprising holdover candidates from the 2016 Hall of Fame Election and players who played their last major league game in 2011. The composition of the ballot, comprising 34 names, was announced on November 21, 2016. Three players gained election: Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, who was in his 10th and final year of eligibility, and Ivan Rodriguez, who became a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Rodriguez cleared the 75% threshold by four votes, while two other players fell just shy: Trevor Hoffman fell 5 votes short, and Vladimir Guerrero missed by 15 votes in his first appearance on the ballot. Both are expected to be voted in in short order and were victim of a particularly strong ballot, as many writers expressed their frustration with only being able to list ten names, as there were more players than that who were obviously qualified to have a plaque in Cooperstown.

The two players most tainted by accusations of steroid use, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, both continued their steady progression and passed the 50% mark for the first time. Also passing the mark was Edgar Martinez, who with two years remaining was hoping to benefit from a push similar to the one that resulted in Raines's election, and Mike Mussina, another player making a slow but steady climb in the rankings. In contrast, Curt Schilling, who had spent the year making intemperate statements, saw his support drop significantly.

Player Votes Percentage Year on the Ballot Result
Jeff Bagwell 381 86.2 7th ELECTED
Tim Raines 380 86.0 10th ELECTED
Ivan Rodriguez 336 76.0 1st ELECTED
Trevor Hoffman 327 74.0 2nd
Vladimir Guerrero 317 71.7 1st
Edgar Martinez 259 58.6 8th
Roger Clemens 239 54.1 5th
Barry Bonds 238 53.8 5th
Mike Mussina 229 51.8 4th
Curt Schilling 199 45.0 5th
Lee Smith 151 34.2 15th Dropped
Manny Ramirez 105 23.8 1st
Larry Walker 97 21.9 7th
Fred McGriff 96 21.7 8th
Jeff Kent 74 16.7 4th
Gary Sheffield 59 13.3 3rd
Billy Wagner 45 10.2 2nd
Sammy Sosa 38 8.6 5th
Jorge Posada 17 3.8 1st Dropped
Magglio Ordonez 3 0.7 1st Dropped
Edgar Renteria 2 0.5 1st Dropped
Jason Varitek 2 0.5 1st Dropped
Tim Wakefield 1 0.2 1st Dropped
Casey Blake 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Pat Burrell 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Orlando Cabrera 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Mike Cameron 0 0.0 1st Dropped
J.D. Drew 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Carlos Guillen 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Derrek Lee 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Melvin Mora 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Arthur Rhodes 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Freddy Sanchez 0 0.0 1st Dropped
Matt Stairs 0 0.0 1st Dropped

Veterans Committee[edit]

The Veterans Committee, consisting of 16 members, voted on players and officials from the "Today's Game" era (from 1988 to today). The ballot consisted of ten candidates: Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire, Lou Piniella, John Schuerholz, Bud Selig and George Steinbrenner. Baines, Belle, Clark, Hershiser and McGwire were being considered as players; Johnson and Piniella as managers; and Schuerholz, Selig and Steinbrenner as executives. Schuerholz was chosen by all 16 voters and Selig by 15 of 16 as both gained election.

Player Votes Percentage Result
John Schuerholz 16 100.00 ELECTED
Bud Selig 15 93.8 ELECTED
Lou Piniella 7 43.8
Harold Baines <5 <31.3
Albert Belle <5 <31.3
Will Clark <5 <31.3
Orel Hershiser <5 <31.3
Davey Johnson <5 <31.3
Mark McGwire <5 <31.3
George Steinbrenner <5 <31.3


The 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on July 30th in Cooperstown, NY. In their speeches, the inductees spoke of the human elements behind the statistics. Jeff Bagwell spoke of the importance of a positive clubhouse culture, Tim Raines of the support given him by two other Hall of Famers - Gary Carter and Andre Dawson - during his days as a talented but troubled young player with the Montréal Expos, and Ivan Rodriguez of growing up in poverty in Puerto Rico and the importance of never forgetting one's roots. Bud Selig returned to the days when he took over as Commissioner, when baseball was profoundly divided between large and small markets and the owners and players were feuding bitterly, a picture that had been completely changed by the end of his tenure, while John Schuerholz emphasized the importance of scouting and player development in building a winning team. Rodriguez gave half of his speech in Spanish, and Raines attempted to thank Montreal fans in French, before stopping an apologizing for his failure to learn the language in spite of his profound love for the city.

The large presence of Expos fans, wearing the gear of the departed team, among the 27,000 fans assembled for the ceremonies, was impossible to miss. It was in marked contrast to Dawson's induction in 2010, when Expos fans had been present in much smaller numbers, and the bitterness over the team's departure from Montreal was very much present. There was some slight booing for Selig, considered by many to be one of the main driving forces behind the Expos' demise, but mainly optimism over the possible return of baseball to the major league city closest to Cooperstown.

Other Awards[edit]

Claire Smith, one of the first women to extensively cover a major league baseball beat, became the first woman winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award awarded for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Bill King, former broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics, was the posthumous recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Barry M. Bloom: "Vlad, Manny, Pudge debut on Hall of Fame ballot: Bagwell, Raines, Hoffman among top holdover candidates for election", mlb.com, November 21, 2016. [1]
  • Barry M. Bloom: "Selig, Schuerholz elected to Hall of Fame", mlb.com, December 4, 2016. [2]
  • Barry M. Bloom: "Smith first woman to win Spink Award: Trailblazer to be honored during Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown", mlb.com, December 6, 2016. [3]
  • Barry M. Bloom: "A bigger vote? Hall class size may drop jaws", mlb.com, January 12, 2017. [4]
  • Alyson Footer: "Fans' guide to Hall of Fame weekend activities", mlb.com, July 28, 2017. [5]
  • Richard Justice: "HOF Class of '17 earns immortality: Bagwell, Pudge, Raines, Schuerholz, Selig reflect on journeys to Cooperstown", mlb.com, July 30, 2017. [6]
  • John Kekis, Associated Press: "Hall of Fame ceremony an emotional time for inductees", USA Today, July 30, 2017. [7]
  • Matt Kelly: "Amazing facts about Today's Game HOF candidates: Five players have second chance at Cooperstown on Sunday", mlb.com, December 2, 2016. [8]
  • Barry M. Bloom: "Coop, 3 it is! Bagwell, Raines, Pudge elected to HOF: Astros slugger makes it on 7th try, leadoff man enters in final year, backstop in 1st year", mlbcom, January 18, 2017. [9]
  • Bob Nightengale: "'Truly honored' Bud Selig gets Hall of Fame call, along with John Schuerholz", USA Today Sports, December 5, 2016. [10]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell prove Hall of Fame does forgive", USA Today Sports, January 18, 2017. [11]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Oh, the humanity: Pudge, Bagwell, Raines recall a more personal era in Hall of Fame induction", USA Today Sports, July 30, 2017. [12]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Baseball Hall of Fame", USA Today Sports, January 18, 2017. [13]
  • Joe Posnanski: "Baseball in Montreal gets moment in the sun", mlb.com, July 30, 2017. [14]

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