Baseball Hall of Fame 2018 class includes one welcome surprise

SAN DIEGO - APRIL 23: Pitcher Trevor Hoffman
SAN DIEGO - APRIL 23: Pitcher Trevor Hoffman /

The MLB Baseball Hall of Fame class grows by four, adding its newest members to their 2018, with one slight surprise among the group.

The MLB Baseball Hall of Fame class is four members larger, with its newest electees added to the elite group of 317– now 321. Whether you agree or disagree with the selections, take a quick moment to recognize and congratulate the newest fab-four. 

Like expected, Chipper Jones leads the class with the highest number of votes, with Trevor Hoffman sneaking in by the skin of his teeth.

  1. Chipper Jones, 97.2 percent
  2. Vladimir Guerrero, 92.9 percent
  3. Jim Thome, 89.9 percent
  4. Trevor Hoffman, 79.9 percent

As predicted, the final spot for the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame class was a “duel” between Trevor Hoffman and Edgar Martinez, with the former San Diego Padres closer beating out the previous Mariners’ star. Martinez will no doubt be elected in among the 2019 class but was worthy of inclusion this season. But, on the same ballot, so was Hoffman — where something had to give.

Leading vote-getter and first-time ballotor Chipper Jones boasts a lifetime slash line of .303/.401/.529 to go with 468 home runs, 2,726 career hits, and National League MVP honors in 1999 — all with the Atlanta Braves

Vladimir Guerrero’s lifetime line of .318/.379/.553, 2,590 career hits and 449 home runs, to go with 2004 American League MVP honors. He split time with the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles, to go with short-stops with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles.

Jim Thome spent the majority of his career with the Cleveland Indians, slashing .276/.402/.554, 2,328 career hits, and 612 home runs — with an additional 17 home runs in his postseason career. Trevor Hoffman ranks second all-time in MLB saves, with 601 in his career — to go with a 2.87 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

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Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Brad Lidge, Kevin Millwood and Carlos Zambrano received a combined zero votes.

Among the notable misses who show promise of future inclusion within the Baseball Hall of Fame are those linked to PED use — Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. However, they only showed a bump of under three percent, lower than expected. PED use or not, Barry Bonds is arguably the best player in MLB history and needs inclusion within the Baseball of Fame. So does Pete Rose, but that’s a story for another time.

With Chipper Jones shown the utmost respect, another Atlanta Braves elite remains undervalued in Fred McGriff. It’s unlikely he will ever make the Baseball Hall of Fame, but he’s worthy of stronger consideration.

Overall, the selection committee did an excellent job, even with their exclusion of Martinez — understandable with Hoffman’s induction. The trends also show that PED users have long ways to go in breaking through to voters. Who will be the man to lead this group into the promised land? Andy Pettite could be the one who does it.

Next: Trevor Hoffman: San Diego Padres’ most hidden gem

Baseball Hall of Fame weekend ends the month of July, bringing fireworks of its own — and what a show it will be.