So, the Hall of Fame didn't do a great job of disguising their big announcement this evening:
Here's what HoF website url entries show for four main candidates. pic.twitter.com/5TqMCnBdlm— The Captain's Blog (@williamnyy23) January 6, 2016
Despite subsequent attempts to cover its tracks, it still spoiled the news: Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will head to the Hall of Fame as Cooperstown's regretfully small Class of 2016.
Griffey sailed into the Hall of Fame with 99.3% percent of the vote, giving him the highest vote total of all time.
- Ken Griffey Jr. 99.31
- Tom Seaver, 98.84
- Nolan Ryan, 98.79
- Cal Ripken Jr., 98.53
- Ty Cobb, 98.23
Piazza completed his climb to Cooperstown in his fourth year, finally crossing the threshold with votes to spare at 83%.
Jeff Bagwell (71.6%) and Tim Raines (69.8%) are left hoping to follow Piazza's lead next year. Some of the backlog should be relieved for those who are close to 75 percent -- besides Griffey and Piazza, Mark McGwire (12.3%) and Alan Trammell (40.9%) will also be off the ballot, as they exhausted their 10 and 15 years of eligibility, respectively.
However, those four spots will be replaced by formidable first-timers like Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Jorge Posada, among others. And with the field already crowded enough to force guys like Jim Edmonds (2.5%) off the ballot in their first year, the immediate future remains as murky as ever.