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2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Selections: Tough Choices Abound 2

Posted on January 02, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Pedro Martinez seems to be a lock for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame class.

Pedro Martinez seems to be a lock for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame class.

After seeing three first-year candidates join the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, the class of 2015 has the potential to match or exceed that total. However, unlike a year ago when all three inductees appeared clear-cut (as much as any in this post-PED era), there are fewer guarantees and more questions surrounding the 2015 candidates.

Even with there being more unpredictability amongst the potential 2015 class, there are two players whose inclusion seems to be nearly certain.

Last year the Hall of Fame welcomed the two most consistent pitchers of the 1990s and early 2000s in Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. This year it should open the doors for the two most dominant pitchers of the same era (at least among pitchers not linked to PEDs) in Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.

With 303 career victories, two no-hitters and 4,875 career strikeouts, there seems little doubt that Johnson will reach the Hall of Fame in his first season of eligibility.

The same should be true for Martinez. Though he won significantly fewer games (219) than several pitchers who have fallen short of HOF selection, his career ERA of 2.93 during the PED era might be one of the most impressive statistics of all-time. In addition, his three Cy Young Awards and .687 career winning percentage are also worthy of a spot in the Hall.

It is very possible that a third first-year-eligible pitcher could earn selection, but this is when the 2015 selection process starts to move into the land of confusion.

To some, the combination of his 213 career victories and 154 career saves, along with an amazing 15-4 post season record is enough to warrant a vote for John Smoltz. However, critics will point out that except for the 1996 season when he won 24 games and the Cy Young Award, Smoltz never won more than 17 games in a season and his time in the bullpen was so brief (only three seasons) that it really shouldn’t be a boost to his candidacy the way his relief career was for Dennis Eckersley.

Given that his career resume isn’t significantly better than that of two other pitchers who have received only minimal support since becoming eligible (Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling), it could be a tough road for Smoltz to Cooperstown.
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Randy Johnson Calls It A Career; Next Stop Cooperstown 3

Posted on January 05, 2010 by Dean Hybl
After 22 seasons and 303 wins, Randy Johnson has announced his retirement.

After 22 seasons and 303 wins, Randy Johnson has announced his retirement.

The day before the 2010 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame is announced, flame-throwing lefthander Randy Johnson has announced his retirement from baseball after a career that will unquestionably culminate with a trip to Cooperstown.

While there is no guarantee that a player will be selected for the Hall of Fame when the 2010 voting is announced tomorrow (Wednesday), Johnson will be one of those no-brainer selections that make the Hall of Fame committee happy.

The most dominant pitcher in the game for a significant stretch of his career, Johnson used his 6-foot-10-inch frame to intimidate and dominate hitters for nearly 20 years.

Originally drafted by the Montreal Expos, Johnson was sent to Seattle in a 1989 trade for Mark Langston.

As it turned out, Johnson became the dominant left-hander the Expos thought they were getting with Langston.

Johnson teamed with Ken Griffey Jr. to give the Mariners two of the best players in baseball during the 1990s.

His first standout season came in 1993 when Johnson went 19-8 and finished second in the Cy Young voting. By 1995, Johnson was unquestionably the top lefthander in the American League.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

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