It was announced today that Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Tom Glavine are among the first-time candidates eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. Maddux is believed to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer when the Baseball Writers Association of America votes.
The results are announced on January 8th. Given his reputation, Greg Maddux is among the Hall of Fame candidates that aren’t tainted.
Last year, for the first since 1996, the BBWAA did not vote anyone into the Hall of Fame. Why? Because of the list of candidates the voters refused to select: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and Mark McGuire. Unfortunately, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, who were not caught up in the steroid scandal, did not receive the necessary 75 percent of votes needed, nor did other players that have been on the ballot for a while. In fact, Dale Murphy, who won two MVP trophies, only got 18.6 percent of votes in his last appearance on the ballot.
So, as this voting begins, it is becoming more likely that Maddux will be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. First of all, his numbers more than speak for themselves: four straight Cy Young awards, 18 Gold Glove Awards, and over 3,000 strikeouts. That alone would be very impressive. But, with the baseball writers, it may be a boost that Greg Maddux is among Hall of Fame candidates that aren’t tainted. The writers have been struggling with whether to put the players accused of using performance enhancing drugs into the Hall of Fame. Some feel that the players have ruined the game; others feel that if they are included, they should have either a separate wing or an asterisk next to their record. So, now that they are getting a new crop of players who are not considered tainted, and then they can concentrate on adding them in.
Another upside from Maddux being elected is that it could help others like Biggio and Bagwell get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Adding Maddux, Thomas, and Glavine gives voters at least three more players they can vote for, because they are only allowed to vote for 10 in total. If these voters have three they’re confident in, and then they have Biggio, Bagwell, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, there are already seven players the baseball writers can place on their ballot. It could also have a domino effect on players who may have a long shot in getting in, such as Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, and Alan Trammel. Then there would be a crop of players the writers can be proud of electing.
Of course the debate will continue on the players accused and found guilty of using steroids, because most of the baseball records were broken by these players. The writers can be proud that Greg Maddux is among the Hall of Fame candidates that aren’t tainted. Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, and the others who have been accused of cheating may never even get in. Even Alex Rodriguez, who is currently suing the MLB, has admitted to using steroids, so when his time to be on the ballot happens, the writers will shun him also. These writers definitely can seal a fate of players who get caught doing the wrong things. At least for Maddux, he doesn’t have to worry about that.
By Renayle Fink