One player with thin ties to the Orioles will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame later this year in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Tim Raines received 86.2 percent of the votes in his final year on the ballot, an increase from 69.8 percent in 2016. A player must garner at least 75 percent to be inducted.
First baseman Jeff Bagwell and catcher Ivan Rodriguez will join Raines. Bagwell received 86 percent, an increase from 71.6 percent last year. Rodriguez received 76 percent and joined Bench as the only catchers to make it in their first year of eligibility.
Bagwell was in his seventh year on the ballot.
Closer Trevor Hoffman just fell short at 74 percent. Vladimir Guerrero received 71.7 percent and Edgar Martinez 58.6 percent.
Guerrero is a career .318/.379/.553 hitter with 449 home runs in 16 seasons. He’s a nine-time All-Star with eight Silver Slugger awards and one Most Valuable Player award who also finished third twice, fourth once and sixth once. He possesses a career 59.3 WAR.
Maybe next year.
Former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina saw an increase from 43 to 51.8 percent. Roger Clemens jumped from 45.2 to 54.1 percent and Barry Bonds’ support grew from 44.3 to 53.8 percent.
The steroid cloud continues to hang over Bonds and Clemens, but more eligible voters in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America are looking past it.
Raines appeared in four games with the Orioles in 2001 after they acquired him from the Expos on Oct. 3, 2001 for a player to be named or cash. He went 3-for-11 with a home run and five RBIs.
The Orioles’ sole purpose in acquiring Raines was to allow him to play in the same outfield as his son, Tim Raines Jr., who made his major league debut on Oct. 1, 2001 with his parents in the stands. They were the second father-son teammates in major league history, joining Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1990-1991. The elder Raines was completing his 22nd major league season.
Raines won’t make the Orioles’ Hall of Fame after only four games, but he’s headed to Cooperstown.
Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted last year and the BBWAA is sending three more later this summer.
Bagwell, Raines and Rodriguez will be honored as part of the Hall’s induction weekend from July 28-31, along with executives Bud Selig and John Schuerholz, who were elected in December by the Today’s Game Era Committee, as well as the late Bill King, the Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting, and Claire Smith, the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for writing.
Closer Lee Smith, who led the majors with 33 saves for the Orioles in 1994, fell short with only 34.2 percent of the votes in his final year of eligibility.
Another former Oriole, pitcher Curt Schilling, received 45 percent, followed by 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 former Oriole Sammy Sosa (8.6).
Players must receive votes on at least five percent of the ballots to remain eligible in 2018. Former Orioles Melvin Mora, Arthur Rhodes, Derrek Lee and Casey Blake, along with Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Stairs, didn’t receive any votes. Jorge Posada (17 votes), Magglio Ordonez (three), Edgar Renteria (two), Jason Varitek (two) and Tim Wakefield (one) also come off the ballot.
There were 442 ballots cast, including two blanks.