Unlike last year, there are plenty of stars qualified to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, but that doesn’t mean more than one will take the stage in Cooperstown this summer. Some believe up to five players could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2014 by the Baseball Writers Association of America, but don’t get too excited, because SportingNews highlights that despite the packed score card, Bill Deane, former research associate at the Hall of Fame, still only believes one man will be elected by the association next summer, and his name is Greg Maddux.
According to SportingNews, Deane has been predicting voting results for more than three decades, and boasts a fairly reliable record for accurate forecasts. He believes Maddux will get 94 percent of the vote and “make it to Cooperstown easily” while Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, and Jack Morris will all fall short with a voting percentage of 63, 61, 61 and 58 percent, respectively.
Not all baseball writers agree with Deane’s forecast, as SportingNews national Baseball writer Jesse Spector recently wrote, “if Thomas doesn’t get in, the system is broken,” but fans everywhere are still crossing their fingers that the voting this year will go off without a hitch, and the system behind the Hall of Fame enshrinement will continue to have meaning. If Deane is right, and Maddux musters 94 of the vote, he will join the elite in Cooperstown and call it a day. However, he still won’t slide in front other Hall-of-Fame greats, as many other players already enshrined have ranked up voting percentages as high as 98.84 percent, and today we’re highlighting 5 of them. According to statistics from Baseball Almanac, here are the five baseball Hall-of-Famers with the highest BBWAA voting percentages.
5. George Brett
George Brett comes in at No. 5 on the Hall of Fame Members’s list and when he was invited to the induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1999, he boasted 98.19 percent of the BBWAA’s vote. The third baseman scored a total of 488 votes from 497 ballots after spending his entire 21-year baseball career playing for the Kansas City Royals.
4. Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb takes the No. 4 position with 98.23 percent of the BBWAA’s vote, just a touch higher than the majority that Brett can boast. Cobb was inducted into the Hall of Fame 63 years before Brett joined him, and he came out of the voting process with 222 out of a possible 226 votes. At the time of the center fielder’s induction, he had the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
3. Cal Ripken, Jr.
Our No. 3 player is one who more recently ran the bases, and that would be Cal Ripken, Jr., the short stop who played the game for 21 years for the Baltimore Orioles. The Iron Man was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 after receiving 98.53 percent of the vote that came from scoring 537 out of a possible 545 votes. The man is now a best-selling author and the President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc.
2. Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan is next, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside another player on our list, George Brett. Both men attended the induction ceremony in Cooperstown in the summer of 1999, but Ryan scored a higher percentage of the BBWAA’s vote as he came away with a voting majority of 98.79 percent. The pitcher received 491 out of a possible 497 votes, and The Ryan Express is now chief executive officer of the Texas Rangers, the team from which he retired.
1. Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver wins the top spot for Hall of Famer with the best BBWAA voting percentage, and he does so with an impressive 98.84 percent of the votes. Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992, and scored 425 out of a possible 430 votes. The player pitched from 1967-1986 for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox, but Seaver is noted primarily for his time with the Mets. In fact, he has the only plaque at Cooperstown wearing a New York Mets hat.