Former shortstop Barry Larkin, who spent all 19 of his major league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in his third year on the ballot.
Larkin received votes on 86 percent of the ballots. A player must received at least 75 percent for induction.
Former pitcher Jack Morris, in his 13th year on the ballot, came the closest among the rest of the field with 67 percent of the votes. Jeff Bagwell received 56 percent, Lee Smith 51 percent, Tim Raines 49 percent, Alan Trammell and Edgar Martinez 37 percent, Fred McGriff 24 percent, Larry Walker 23 percent, Mark McGwire 20 percent, Don Mattingly 18 percent and Dale Murphy 14 percent.
Former Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro received 13 percent of the votes, an increase of 2 percent over last winter. Candidates must receive at least 5 percent to remain on the ballot.
Palmeiro is one of only four members of the 3,000/500 club, but his failed drug test and subsequent suspension in 2005 has kept him out of the Hall in his first two years of eligibility.
I expected Larkin to make it. I’m surprised that Trammell didn’t garner more support, considering how many writers were campaigning for him after the ballots were mailed out.
For the record, I voted for Larkin, Trammell, Bagwell, Raines, Smith and Murphy. I believe that too many players are gaining entrance and the Hall has become watered down, so I’m fine with Larkin being the only inductee this summer.
And before anyone asks, I have nothing again McGriff, Morris or Martinez. I could have included them on my ballot and not lost any sleep over it. Morris was the most glaring omission, and I’ll give him much more serious consideration next winter.
Here’s the real head-scratcher: Former Orioles catcher Javy Lopez and Eric Young each received one vote.