A year after there were no living Hall of Fame inductees for the first time since 1965, baseball's most hallowed halls are preparing to see if there will be new members admitted this season. While the addition of Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux to the ballot pretty much ensures living Hall of Famers will be inducted, a couple of the holdover candidates pose interesting questions. Notable among those is former Mets catcher Mike Piazza.
Piazza, who some consider the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, received only 57.8% of the vote as many voters took a stand against the steroid era by punishing everyone in this particular class, which included notorious steroid users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Piazza, who has never been linked to steroids, discussed the steroid culture he experienced in his autobiography but denied using illegal drugs.
In a report published by Baseball Think Factory, Piazza currently appears on 71.5% of the publicly disclosed ballots. That is just shy of the 75 percent threshold required for election, although only 21.6% of the ballot is publicly disclosed. The report indicates that first time candidates Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas will all go in on the first ballot while second year candidate Craig Biggio would get in with 81.8% of the vote. Piazza may get hurt by a strong first year class and some old fashioned writers who don't want to admit too many players to the Hall of Fame every year.
While it looks as if there is a chance Piazza may fall just short of entry this year, the numbers clearly point to Piazza getting in the hall within the next several years. Piazza does not have a clearly defined steroid stigma, so it should be just a matter of time before he enters the Hall of Fame. Piazza was admitted to the Mets Hall of Fame at the end of the 2013 season, so hopefully it is a sign of things to come.
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