Bagwell falls short in Hall of Fame voting
The Astros will have to wait for a Hall of Famer to call their own.
Jeff Bagwell, the Astros’ all-time leader in homers and RBIs, fell short of being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, garnering 41.7 percent of the vote on his first time on the ballot in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were the only two players to make the Hall this year.
Players need 75 percent of the votes to be elected and can stay on the ballot for as long as 15 years as long as they receive at least five percent of the vote.
Several voters who have made their Hall of Fame selections public have questioned whether Bagwell used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Bagwell has routinely denied using any kind of drugs and hasn’t been linked to any juicing, but some voters remain skeptic.
Bagwell would appear to have a better chance to get elected next year when a thin group of first-timers are eligible, but the list of 2013 Hall of Fame eligible players includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Craig Biggio, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza.
Six former Astros have reached the Hall of Fame, but neither has worn an Astros cap: Nellie Fox, Eddie Mathews, Joe Morgan, Robin Roberts, Don Sutton and Nolan Ryan.
Bagwell, 42, last appeared in an Astros uniform during the 2005 World Series, the crowning achievement in a career that included the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1991 and the club’s only NL Most Valuable Player Award three years later.
Bagwell made four All-Star Game appearances, had 2,314 hits, 449 home runs, 1,529 RBIs and six trips to the playoffs. He was forced to retire after a degenerative shoulder condition made it impossible for him to throw a baseball and nearly impossible to swing a bat.
I still believe Bagwell will get in at some point, but in my mind he’s a classic case of a borderline Hall of Fame player. I say that as a guy who has extremely high standards for the Hall of Fame. I certainly can’t fault anyone for not voting for him because of his performance on the field.
Here’s the entire vote: Roberto Alomar 523 (90.0%), Bert Blyleven 463 (79.7%), Barry Larkin 361 (62.1%), Jack Morris 311 (53.5%), Lee Smith 263 (45.3%), Jeff Bagwell 242 (41.7%), Tim Raines 218 (37.5%), Edgar Martinez 191 (32.9%), Alan Trammell 141 (24.3%), Larry Walker 118 (20.3%), Mark McGwire 115 (19.8%), Fred McGriff 104 (17.9%), Dave Parker 89 (15.3%), Don Mattingly 79 (13.6%), Dale Murphy 73 (12.6%), Rafael Palmeiro 64 (11.0%), Juan Gonzalez 30 (5.2%), Harold Baines 28 (4.8%), John Franco 27 (4.6%), Kevin Brown 12 (2.1%), Tino Martinez 6 (1.0%), Marquis Grissom 4 (0.7%), Al Leiter 4 (0.7%), John Olerud 4 (0.7%), B.J. Surhoff 2 (0.3%), Bret Boone 1 (0.2%), Benito Santiago 1 (0.2%), Carlos Baerga 0, Lenny Harris 0, Bobby Higginson 0, Charles Johnson 0, Raul Mondesi 0, Kirk Rueter 0.