2018 Hall of Fame Election
The results of the 2018 Hall of Fame Election were announced on January 24, 2018. There were four successful candidates from the ballot, two first-timers in Chipper Jones and Jim Thome and two players who had barely missed induction in 2017 in Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero. It was only the fourth time that so many candidates were voted in by the BBWAA after the elections of 1947, 1955 and 2015. They joined Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, elected by the Veterans Committee on December 10, 2017, at the induction ceremony which took place at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY on July 29th.
Eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America voted on a ballot comprising holdover candidates from the 2017 Hall of Fame Election and players who played their last major league game in 2012, for a total of 33 candidates. The composition of the ballot was announced on November 20, 2017.
On the day after the ballot was announced, Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who serves as the Hall's vice-chairman, made a splash by urging BBWAA members to reject any known PED user. Morgan received widespread criticism for his move, as most observers felt that writers were smart enough to make their own judgment calls on the murky issue of PED use, as they had already done for the past few rounds of voting. Morgan's intervention was seen as a direct reaction to alleged PED users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both receiving over 50% of the vote for the first time in the 2017 Hall of Fame Election.
The ballot was considered particularly strong by most voters and other experts, with anywhere from 12 to 15 players being fully qualified under historical Hall of Fame standards, and a few others having a more marginal case. This could have led to a scattered vote with no one being elected, but instead, the voters gathered around the most obvious choices, resulting in four players being elected. Those were the two best-qualified first-year candidates, 3B Chipper Jones and 1B Jim Thome, both overwhelmingly qualified, and two candidates who had barely missed induction in the previous year's voting, in relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman and OF Vladimir Guerrero. Jones and Guerrero led the voting, with over 97 and 92% of the votes respectively, while Thome fell just below 90% and Hoffman a hair short of 80%. There was no controversy regarding any of the four, as they were all seen as being very strongly qualified for the honor. A fifth player, Edgar Martinez, came very close to joining them, with 70.4% of the vote, while four other players topped 50% - Mike Mussina, Bonds, Clemens and Curt Schilling, making them all likely candidates for future election.
|Player||Votes||Percentage||Year on the Ballot||Result|
The Veterans Committee, consisting of 16 members, voted on players and officials from the "Modern Baseball Era" era (from 1970 to 1987). The ballot consisted of ten candidates: Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant and Alan Trammell. All were nominated as players, except for Miller who was the long-time counsel of the Players Association. 12 votes were needed for election. The results of the vote were announced on December 10, 2017 at the annual winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Morris and Trammell, long-time teammates with the Detroit Tigers in the 1980s, were elected with 14 and 13 votes respectively, while Simmons fell one vote shy of election. The two successful candidates were the first living players elected by the Veterans Committee since Bill Mazeroski in 2001.
The 16 members of the Committee included Hall of Fame players George Brett, Rod Carew, Dennis Eckersley, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount. Two other Hall members, John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox, also served, alongside current and former owners and executives Sandy Alderson, Paul Beeston, Bob Castellini, Bill DeWitt Jr. and David Glass. The remaining members were media representatives Bob Elliott and Jayson Stark and Elias Sports Bureau statistician Steve Hirdt.
The 2018 induction ceremony took place on July 29 in Cooperstown, NY. All six inductees were in attendance and gave speeches. The large class attracted an equally large audience, estimated at over 50,000. Chipper Jones' wife, Taylor was in attendance even though she was heavily pregnant with the couple's seventh son and was expecting the birth to take place at any time. Jones was able to go through with the ceremony without having to rush off with her to a maternity ward, however.
National broadcaster Bob Costas was the winner of the Ford Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting, while Sheldon Ocker, long-time reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal was the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious service in baseball reporting. They were also honored at the induction ceremony on July 29, 2018.
- Barry M. Bloom: "10 on Hall of Fame's Modern Era ballot: Garvey, John, Mattingly, Miller, Morris, Murphy, Parker, Simmons, Tiant, Trammell to be considered", mlb.com, November 7, 2017. 
- Barry M. Bloom: "Chipper, Thome, Vizquel join HOF ballot: Hoffman, Guerrero among top repeat candidates for Cooperstown", mlb.com, November 20, 2017. 
- Barry M. Bloom: "Hall of Fame Modern Era voting FAQ: Committee will weigh in on 10 candidates this year", mlb.com, December 9, 2017. 
- Scott Boeck: "Baseball Hall of Fame: Breaking down the ballot", USA Today Sports, January 24, 2018. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "Morris, Trammell honored by calls to the Hall! Former teammates elected to class of 2018 by Modern Era Committee", mlb.com, December 11, 2017. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "Chipper, Vlad, Thome, Hoffman elected to Hall", mlb.com, January 24, 2018. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "Elusive WS ring a common theme for HOF class: Jones the only member of 2018 electees to hoist championship trophy", mlb.com, January 25, 2018. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "Hall of Fame: Full speeches and top moments", mlb.com, July 29, 2018. 
- Mark Feinsand: "Morgan urges HOF voters to reject PED users: 1990 inductee, Hall vice chairman sends letter to writers", mlb.com, November 21, 2017. 
- Mark Feinsand: "Hall of Fame voting a challenging task", mlb.com, December 18, 2017. 
- Bob Nightengale: "For Tigers stars Jack Morris and Allen Trammell, Hall of Fame call extra special", USA Today Sports, December 10, 2017. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Chipper, Vlad, Thome, Hoffman: Another world-class group for Baseball Hall of Fame", USA Today Sports, January 24, 2018. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Baseball Hall of Fame: Best quotes from Cooperstown as Chipper Jones and Co. get inducted", USA Today, July 29, 2018. 
- Jorge L. Ortiz: "Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman elected to Baseball Hall of Fame", USA Today Sports, January 24, 2018. 
- Joe Posnanski: "Morgan's letter makes HOF picture cloudy for pair: Cases for Bonds, Clemens had been building momentum", mlb.com, November 22, 2017. 
- Joe Posnanski: "The big takeaways from this year's HOF results: Winners, movers and also-rans reveal BBWAA trends", mlb.com, January 24, 2018. 
- Brent Schrotenboer: "Will new Hall of Fame committee see Alan Trammell, others in new light?", USA Today Sports, November 24, 2017. 
- Chad Thornburg: "Looking ahead to the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot: Chipper, Thome, Vizquel, Andruw, Rolen highlight slate of newcomers", mlb.com, July 31, 2017.