Maddux, Glavine, Thomas elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
NEW YORK — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, while Craig Biggio fell two votes short and tainted stars of the Steroids Era remained a long way from Cooperstown.
Maddux was picked on 555 of 571 ballots by senior members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth highest in the history of voting.
Glavine, Maddux's teammate in Atlanta, appeared on 525 ballots and received 91.9 percent. Thomas, the first Hall of Famer who spent most of his career as a designated hitter, was at 478 and 83.7 percent.
Thomas said he accepts the view of many Hall of Famers that players who are muddied by accusations of steroid use, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, don't belong.
“I've got to take the right stance, too. No, they shouldn't get in,” he said. “There shouldn't be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame.”
The trio will be inducted with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee.
Maddux and Glavine, who played under Cox for most of their careers, will become the first pair of 300-game winners to be inducted in the same year.
“It's exciting for me to go in with my teammate,” Maddux said.
The only other time three players were elected together in their first appearances was in 1999 with Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount.
Biggio received 427 votes and 74.8 percent. He spent his entire career with the Houston Astros, appeared on 388 ballots last year in his first appearance — when writers failed to elect anyone — and appears to be on track to gain election next year.
“Obviously, I'm disappointed to come that close,” he said. “I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year.”
Mike Piazza was next with 62.2 percent, up from 57.8 last year. Jack Morris was 78 votes short at 61.5 percent in his 15th and final appearance on the writers' ballot, a drop from 67.7 percent. Morris replaces Gil Hodges (63 percent in 1983) as the player with the highest-percentage of the vote not in the Hall.
Jeff Bagwell dropped to 54.3 percent from 59.6, and Tim Raines to 46.1 from 52.2.
Controversy over how to evaluate stars tainted by the Steroids Era impacted the vote. Roger Clemens dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4, Barry Bonds from 36.2 to 34.7 and Sammy Sosa from 12.5 to 7.2.
Eighth on the wins list with a 355-227 record and a 3.16 ERA over 23 seasons, Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Gloves with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego.
Glavine, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, was 305-203 over 22 seasons. A two-time AL MVP, Thomas hit .301 with 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto and Oakland.