Mike Mussina wasn’t expected to get into the Hall of Fame on his first try. Based on the votes he received, Mussina will probably need several years to gain election.
Mussina got 20.3 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent necessary. There’s precedent for him, though. Bert Blyleven received just 17.5 percent of the vote, and it took him until his fourth year of eligibility until he got over 20 percent. Blyleven slowly climbed and was elected on his 14th try.
It shouldn’t take Mussina that long.
Many voters complained about being limited to 10 players on the ballot. Surely Craig Biggio could have picked up the two votes necessary to gain election if they weren’t such a logjam.
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Next year, Biggio, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines return. They all got at least 40 percent of the votes.
Jack Morris, who peaked at 67.7 percent of the vote last year, fell back to 61.5 percent in his final year of eligibility.
Even with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas elected and Morris no longer eligible for the writer’s vote, there will still be a star-studded ballot a year from now.
Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz all have good chances to be first ballot electees. Nomar Garciaparra and Gary Sheffield are also on the ballot.
Raines, who briefly played with the Orioles in 2001, got 46.1 percent. Lee Smith saved 33 games in the strike shortened 1994 season, received 29.9 percent, his lowest total in 12 seasons of eligibility.
Curt Schilling, who recorded his first major league win for the Orioles, (It was the only one he recorded for them) got 29.2 percent.
Sammy Sosa barely stayed on the ballot with 7.2 percent, but Rafael Palmeiro disappears from the writers’ ballot after he picked up just 25 votes (4.4 percent).
Former Orioles Armando Benitez, who somehow got a vote, and Mike Timlin, will no longer be considered.