Jul 13, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; MLB former players Mike Piazza (left) talks with John Smoltz (right) during the MLB legends and celebrity softball game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the players that will makeup the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame class are known, preparations can get underway for this July’s induction ceremonies. We can also start to take an early look ahead at next year’s potential class of electees.
The BBWAA will sort through a new ballot later this calendar year that will look largely different than the one they viewed over the past few months with 34 names on it. Subtracting the four 2015 inductees (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio) the players dropping off the ballot because they’ve eclipsed their time allowed on the ballot (Don Mattingly), and those who failed to reach the necessary 5% to remain eligible (Carlos Delgado, Troy Percival, and ten others) that leaves us with 17 returning candidates.
There are 25 new candidates who will be appearing on the ballot for the first time next year – including players like Jim Edmonds, Jason Kendall, Mike Hampton, Randy Winn, Mark Grudzielanek, Chan Ho Park, Bengie Molina, and others. Many of this group will not gain election into the Hall of Fame, with many of them likely to fall off after the first year.
With 42 potential names set to appear on the ballot, let’s take a closer look at five possibilities who may reach the 75% threshold.
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