NEW YORK — Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel are among 19 first-time candidates on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for baseball’s Hall of Fame.
They are joined by Johan Santana and Chris Carpenter. Also among the newcomers to the 33-man ballot announced Monday are Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Carlos Lee, Kevin Millwood, Carlos Zambrano and Johnny Damon.
Trevor Hoffman, who fell five votes short last year, leads holdovers that include Vladimir Guerrero, Edgar Martinez, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling.
Roy Halladay will not appear on the ballot for another year. The retired pitcher died Nov. 7 at age 40 when a plane he was piloting crashed off Florida. A player who dies less than five full years after retiring is eligible in the next election six months following his death or at the end of the five-year wait after his retirement, whichever comes first. Halladay had been set to be eligible in the ballot sent to voters in late 2018.
About 430 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from the BBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 per cent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24. The BBWAA voted last December to have ballots of individual voters made public for the first time, but the proposal was rejected by the Hall of Fame’s board of directors.
Voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, have been free to announce their votes on their own, and about half chose to do so in recent years. The ballot this year will have a check mark allowing the BBWAA to make an individual vote public 14 days after the totals are announced.
Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected last year, when Hoffman drew 74 per cent. Guerrero had 71.7 per cent, followed by Martinez (58.6), Clemens (54.1), Bonds (53.8), Mussina (51.8) and Schilling (45).
Since a change in eligibility requirements eliminated some older voters, Clemens and Bonds received a majority of the vote for the first time last year, the fifth appearance on the ballot for each. Clemens rose from 37.5 per cent in 2015 to 45.2 per cent in 2016, while Bonds climbed from 36.8 per cent in 2015 to 44.3 per cent in 2016.
Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 per cent of the vote annually.
Chipper Jones, an eight-time All-Star, won the 1999 NL MVP and the 2008 NL batting title. He hit .303 with 2,726 hits and 468 home runs in 19 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.
Thome was a five-time All-Star who hit 612 home runs, eighth on the career list, over 22 seasons. Vizquel was an 11-time Gold Glove winner who set the record for most games at shortstop with 2,709 and the highest fielding percentage at the position at .985. He had 2,877 hits and 404 stolen bases over 24 seasons.
Moyer was 269-208 in 25 seasons and in 2012 at 49 became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game.
Other holdovers include Manny Ramirez (23.8), Larry Walker (21.9), Fred McGriff (21.7), Jeff Kent (16.7), Gary Sheffield (13.3), Billy Wagner (10.2) and Sammy Sosa (8.6).
Newcomers also include Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Scott Rolen and Kerry Wood.