Jones, Guerrero among new Hall of Fame inductees

Jones, Guerrero among new Hall of Fame inductees”

• Fred McGriff isnt making any progress, the Tampa native and former Devil Ray polling once again at under 25 percent — in his ninth year on the ballot — despite posting consistent numbers on his way to 493 homers with a reputation for playing the game clean in an era when others performances seemed enhanced. He was named MVP of the 1999 season.

"I still can't believe it", Guerrero, the first position player from the Dominican Republic to make the Hall, told ESPN Deportes on Wednesday.

Hoffman also narrowly missed entry previous year, but got in with 79.9 percent this time around.

From a baseball family in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero played 16 seasons, majority with Montreal or the Los Angeles Angels. And, at 36, he hit.364 to win a batting title; the only players who ever logged a higher average at that age or older were Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, Zack Wheat, Babe Ruth, Tony Gwynn and Barry Bonds. Hoffman closed out so many close games and earned each and every single one of his seven all-star game appearances. Jones and Thome will enter Cooperstown as first-ballot Hall of Famers with the former receiving 97.2 percent of the 422 ballot votes. He played for six teams, with Cleveland being his first, and the team he played for the longest.

• Counting stats still count for something, as longtime Indian Thome, 47, was voted in with 612 home runs, eighth most, (and a reputation as one of the games all-time good guys) and Hoffman, 50, who spent most of his time a Padre, with 601 saves, second-most all time. Known as the "Crime Dog" by his fans, McGriff slugged 493 home runs, drove in over 1,500 runs and was a five-time All-Star in his almost 20-year career. The difference between the two is that game winners will live on in peoples memories and can be forgotten, but when you are in the hall of fame, you're immortal. He is also on the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame.

Roger Clemens
Credit AP file

Players, who must be retired for five years before being considered, need 75 percent of votes to get into the Hall. Hoffman is one of only two players to record more than 500, and 600 career saves, that type of consistency is basically unheard of.

Over the course of his career, Guerrero was named an All-Star nine times and won eight Silver Sluggers, winning the 2004 American League MVP in his first season with the Angels. Edgar Martinez just missed the cut with 70.4 percent of the votes. He will be on the BBWAA ballot for the last time in 2019. 312 in his career, with 2,247 hits, 309 home runs and 1,261 RBIs.

In his fifth year on the ballot, Mike "Moose" Mussina is trending up; he went from 58.6 percent in 2017 to 63.4 percent in 2018.

Clemens and Bonds both failed to clear 60 percent, but edged up about 3 percentage points. Victims of the five percent rule were Johan Santana and Johnny Damon; they will be taken off the ballot.

The 2018 class induction ceremony will happen on July 29 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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