January 7, 2015
The baseball world granted us with big news with their Hall of Fame: four new inductees.
Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were announced January 6 as the latest players to enter Cooperstown. All four men deserved the honor, and three of them were selected on their first ballot.
Johnson threw for the Expos (now Nationals), Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Giants in his 22-year career. He recorded 303 wins and 4,875 strikeouts while becoming the co-winner of the 2001 World Series MVP. Johnson also is known for hitting a bird in spring training.
Martinez threw for the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies in his 18-year career. He recorded 219 wins and 3,154 strikeouts while winning the 2004 World Series with Boston. Martinez and Johnson won both the American and National League Cy Young awards in their careers.
Smoltz is an interesting case for Cooperstown. He started his career as a starter for the Braves. He won 213 games with 3,084 strikeouts. Smoltz, a World Series winner with the Braves in 1995, also saved 154 games, which revitalized his career. He spent the majority of his career with the Braves, finishing it with the Red Sox and Cardinals.
Biggio is the only position player to enter the Hall this year. He’s also the only player of this list to stay with one team his entire career: the Houston Astros. Biggio is a member of the 3000 hit club with 3,060 hits in 2,850 games. He played second base for most of his career, but he also had a few stints in the outfield as well.
All four deserved it, but there were some snubs. Catcher Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire are among the many who missed their time at the Hall. Will they have better luck next year? Who knows!
Regardless, let’s celebrate these four men who played the game with everything on the line. They deserve this honor, and it’s going to be an interesting day when these four take the podium for their Hall of Fame speeches.
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Copyright @ 2007
P.S. Next year promises to be an intriguing ballot for writers. Brace yourselves Mariners fans, because a certain centerfielder named Ken Griffey Jr. enters the fray for the first time.
*stats from baseball-reference.com