Eight former Orioles are among the 36 candidates for Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Ballots are being mailed this week to more than 600 eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association.
Mike Mussina is one of 19 first time candidates, and of the former Orioles, he has the best chance. But, Mussina is facing stiff competition from fellow first timers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas.
Mussina must also compete with holdovers Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Curt Schilling.
Raines, Smith and Schilling also played with the Orioles.
In 2001, Raines played four games with the team so that he could play with his son, Tim Jr. Smith pitched the strike shortened 1994 seasons, and Schilling won one game in parts of three seasons before being traded to Houston in the ill-fated Glenn Davis trade.
Rafael Palmeiro is back on the ballot for the fourth time. In his first three years of eligibility, Palmeiro fell well short of election. Not only do Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa have to deal with the plethora of outstanding candidates, but they’ll have to convince skeptical voters to elect in spite of their steroids taint.
Last year, the Baseball Writers didn’t elect anyone for the first time since 1996. Biggio and Morris came closest. This is Morris’ 15th and final year of eligibility by the Baseball Writers.
Armando Benitez and Mike Timlin are the other two former Orioles on the ballot.
The results will be announced on Jan. 8.