Ex-Tiger Damon among Hall of Fame ballot newcomers
New York – Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and former Tigers first-base coach Omar Vizquel are among 19 first-time candidates on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Former Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon also is a first-time candidate. Also among the newcomers to the 33-man ballot announced Monday are Johan Santana, Chris Carpenter, Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Carlos Lee, Kevin Millwood, and Carlos Zambrano.
Trevor Hoffman, who fell five votes short last year, leads holdovers that include Vladimir Guerrero, Edgar Martinez, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, and another former Tiger, Gary Sheffield.
Roy Halladay will not appear on the ballot for another year. The retired pitcher died Nov. 7 at age 40 when a plane he was piloting crashed off Florida. A player who dies less than five full years after retiring is eligible in the next election six months after his death or at the end of the five-year wait after his retirement, whichever comes first. Halladay had been set to be eligible in the ballot sent to voters in late 2018.
About 430 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from the BBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24. Ballots of individual voters will be made public for the first time, but not until Jan. 31.
Voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, had been free to announce their votes on their own and about half chose to do so in recent years.
Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and former Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez were elected last year, when Hoffman drew 74 percent. Guerrero had 71.7 percent, followed by Edgar Martinez (58.6), Roger Clemens (54.1), Barry Bonds (53.8), Mike Mussina (51.8) and Curt Schilling (45).
Since a change in eligibility requirements eliminated some older voters, Clemens and Bonds received a majority of the vote for the first time last year, the fifth appearance on the ballot for each. Clemens rose from 37.5 percent in 2015 to 45.2 percent in 2016, while Bonds climbed from 36.8 percent in 2015 to 44.3 percent in 2016.
Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 percent of the vote annually.
Damon’s 18-year career included one season in Detroit (2010), where he hit. .271 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs. He’s a career .284 hitter who was a two-time All-Star with the Red Sox.
Sheffield spent two of his final three seasons in Detroit (2007-08) during a 22-year career in the majors with eight teams. A nine-time All-Star, Sheffield clubbed 509 home runs (44 with the Tigers) with 1,676 RBIs. He received 13.3 percent of the votes last season.
Jones, an eight-time All-Star, won the 1999 NL MVP and the 2008 NL batting title. He hit .303 with 2,726 hits and 468 home runs in 19 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.
Thome was a five-time All-Star and who hit 612 home runs, eighth on the career list, over 22 seasons. Vizquel was an 11-time Gold Glove winner who set the record for most games at shortstop with 2,709 and the highest fielding percentage at the position at .985. He had 2,877 hits and 404 stolen bases over 24 seasons.
He spent the past four seasons as the Tigers’ first-base coach. He was named the manager of the White Sox Class A affiliate in Winston-Salem on Monday.
Moyer was 269-208 in 25 seasons and in 2012 art 49 became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game.
Other holdovers include Manny Ramirez (23.8), Larry Walker (21.9), Fred McGriff (21.7), Jeff Kent (16.7), Billy Wagner (10.2) and Sammy Sosa (8.6).
Newcomers also include Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Scott Rolen and Kerry Wood.
Barry Bonds, Chris Carpenter, Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero, Livan Hernandez, Trevor Hoffman, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Jeff Kent, Carlos Lee, Brad Lidge, Edgar Martinez, Hideki Matsui, Fred McGriff, Kevin Millwood, Jamie Moyer, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramirez, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano.