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Baseball Hall of Fame voting results lead to four new members

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Four is a lot (though still not enough)

Harry How/Getty Images

The BBWAA has elected four new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio. All four are, in my estimation, very deserving honorees.

This is the first time since 1955 that the BBWAA has elected four players in the same season. That means there should be a huge crowd on hand when the newly elected players are actually inducted this summer. It could be argued that such a large class means the process is working, but there are a number of deserving players still waiting.

Here are the full voting results:

Randy Johnson 534 (97.3) 1
Pedro Martinez 500 (91.1) 1
John Smoltz 455 (82.9) 1
Craig Biggio 454 (82.7) 3
Mike Piazza 384 (69.9) 3
Jeff Bagwell 306 (55.7) 5
Tim Raines 302 (55) 8
Curt Schilling 215 (39.2) 3
Roger Clemens 206 (37.5) 3
Barry Bonds 202 (36.8) 3
Lee Smith 166 (30.2) 13
Edgar Martinez 148 (27) 6
Alan Trammell 138 (25.1) 14
Mike Mussina 135 (24.6) 2
Jeff Kent 77 (14) 2
Fred McGriff 71 (12.9) 9
Larry Walker 65 (11.8) 5
Gary Sheffield 64 (11.7) 1
Mark McGwire 55 (10) 9
Don Mattingly 50 (9.1) 15
Sammy Sosa 36 (6.6) 3
Nomar Garciaparra 30 (5.5) 1
Carlos Delgado 21 (3.8) 1
Troy Percival 4 (0.7) 1
Aaron Boone 2 (0.4) 1
Tom Gordon 2 (0.4) 1
Darin Erstad 1 (0.2) 1
Rich Aurilia 0 (0) 1
Tony Clark 0 (0) 1
Jermaine Dye 0 (0) 1
Cliff Floyd 0 (0) 1
Brian Giles 0 (0) 1
Eddie Guardado 0 (0) 1
Jason Schmidt 0 (0)

There is only one reasonable explanation for leaving Johnson or Pedro off one's ballot, which is to vote for ten other deserving players, while omitting the two you're most sure will be elected with or without your vote. With Pedro especially, there were certainly voters who left him off for other reasons, which is (for lack of a better word) wrong, but ultimately doesn't matter, because he's a Hall of Famer now either way.

Piazza was at 62.2% last year, which means with the same sort of jump he had this time around, he'll go in next year. Bagwell and Raines each saw their total rise as well, but not enough to make me think they're going to be elected by the BBWAA down the road. Bagwell has five years left on the ballot, while Raines has only two.

Schilling's figure rose nicely from 29.2%, but he's still got a long, long ways to go.

Clemens and Bonds are at almost exactly where they were a year ago. The BBWAA is clearly never going to elect either of them. The same is true of everyone beneath them in the voting. Maybe some of those guys take comfort in remaining on the ballot, maybe they don't. Mussina is the only one with anywhere near enough years of eligibility left (8) for a swell of support to ever lift them to 75%, but even with those years, I think he's too far away at this point.

Carlos Delgado is the best player to fall short of 5% (meaning he falls off the ballot). He was a great player for a while, but not Hall of Fame great, and so I wouldn't put him in the same category as Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton, guys with a legitimate case who never really got a fair shake.

Congratulations to the four new guys.