First-year candidate Greg Maddux is not going to be a unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, but he could be on target, like one of his perfectly placed fastballs, to wind up with the highest percentage of votes in history. Sure, the Hall of Fame continues to be the Hall of Controversy, but there is a passion for baseball’s past, present and future not found in other sports. Maddux was the closest thing to a perfect pitching winning machine. His credentials are impeccable and there are no performance-enhancing-drug shadows hovering over his 23-year career. Nevertheless, at least one voter has opted to take a stand against the PED era and did not vote for the right-hander. There may be more when the results are announced Wednesday. There has never been a unanimous Hall of Fame selection. Tom Seaver is the all-time highest vote-getter with 98.8 percent of the vote, back in 1992. There was controversy then, too. Only five voters didn’t select Seaver out of the 430 votes cast. Three sent in blank ballots to protest Pete Rose’s exclusion from the ballot. And way back when, Babe Ruth got only 95.1 percent of the vote. Wednesday also could be the day Mike Piazza enters the Hall, though early exit polls show him falling short. The former Met won more Silver Sluggers than any catcher in history and hit 396 home runs as a catcher, the top total in big league history. Piazza received 57.8 percent of the vote last year, his first on the ballot, and has to make a big jump to get to the promised land of 75 percent. Maddux’s Braves teammate lefty Tom Glavine, who spent time with the Mets, and slugger Frank Thomas also figure to be elected in their first year on the ballot. There is a good chance Craig Biggio, who hit more doubles (688) than any other right-handed hitter in the history of the game, will get the nod in his second year on the ballot. He had the highest percentage (68.2) last year when the Baseball Writers Association of America tossed a shutout, electing no one.
PED era ignites intense discussion in Cooperstown vote
New York Post | Jan 8