Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and first baseman/designated hitter Frank Thomas were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday.
Maddux was named on the ballots of 97.2 percent of the voters, Glavine on 91.9 percent, and Thomas on 83.7 percent. In order for a player to be selected for the Hall he must be named on 75 percent of writers' ballots.Former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio came agonizingly close to being elected with 74.8 percent of voters putting him on their ballots. Catcher Mike Piazza was named on 62.2 percent of ballots, and pitcher Jack Morris missed election for the 15th and final time with 61.5 percent of the vote.
Maddux won 355 games in his career, pitching 11 seasons for the Braves and 10 for the Cubs. Maddux came close but could not break the mark for highest percentage of votes (98.84), set when in 1992 when Tom Seaver topped the record Ty Cobb set in 1936.
A Billerica native, Glavine won 305 games over 22 seasons, 17 of them with the Braves. A five-time All Star, Thomas hit 521 career home runs and was named AL MVP in the 1993 and 1994 seasons.
Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas were on the ballot for the first time.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, said Tuesday the only player he voted for was Morris, on the writers’ ballot for the 15th and final time after falling 42 votes shy last year.
‘‘To me, I didn’t exclude Maddux. I excluded everybody from that era, everybody from the Steroid Era,’’ Gurnick said. ‘‘It wasn’t about Greg Maddux, it was about the entire era. I just don’t know who did and who didn't.’’
Gurnick said Morris was the only player he voted for in 2013 and added he intends to abstain in future elections.
‘‘Some people quibble over when the era starts, but the bulk of his career was in my opinion well before all of the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs,’’ Gurnick said.
Maddux was left off 15 of the 569 ballots submitted. Each writer can select up to 10 players on his or her ballot.
Next year’s ballot could be even more crowded when Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Carlos Delgado, and Gary Sheffield become eligible, five years after their retirements. The BBWAA last month formed a committee to study whether the organization should ask the Hall to change the limit of 10 players per ballot.
The induction ceremony will take place in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 27. The three players will join managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.