Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday, while Craig Biggio fell two votes short and tainted stars of the Steroids Era remained a long way from Cooperstown.
Maddux was picked on 555 of 571 ballots by senior members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth-highest in the history of voting.
Glavine, Maddux’s longtime teammate in the Atlanta rotation, appeared on 525 ballots and received 91.9 percent. Thomas, the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter, was at 483 and 83.7 percent.
Thomas, who hit 39 home runs and drove in 114 runs for the A’s in 2006, said he accepts the view of many Hall of Famers that players whose accomplishments are muddied by accusations of steroid use, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, don’t belong in the Hall.
“I’ve got to take the right stance, too. No, they shouldn’t get in,” he said. “There shouldn’t be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame.”
A two-time AL MVP, Thomas hit .301 with 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto and Oakland. Maddux is eighth on the wins list with a 355-227 record and had a 3.16 ERA over 23 seasons. Glavine, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, was 305-203 over 22 seasons.
The trio will be inducted July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected by the expansion-era committee.
Biggio received 427 votes and 74.8 percent, matching Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin to just miss. Traynor made it the following year, and Fox was elected by the old Veterans Committee in 1997.
Deadspin.com announced Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard had turned his ballot over to the website, which allowed readers to vote on how it should be cast.
“I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this,” Le Batard said in remarks posted by Deadspin. “’I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we’ve made of sports.”
BBWAA Secretary-Treasurer Jack O’Connell declined comment.