Congratulations to Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza for their election into the MLB Hall of Fame. Griffey, who set a record with 99.3 percent of the vote, was followed by Mike Piazza, who spent his fourth year on the ballot and received 83.0 percent. Jeff Bagwell finished third with 71.6 percent of the vote, Tim Raines was fourth with 69.9 percent and Trevor Hoffman rounded out the top five with 67.3 percent.
The vote, by the Baseball Writers of America, consists of 440 total ballots. A total of 330 votes, or 75 percent, is needed for election to the Hall. Qualified BBWAA members name 10 eligible players they consider worthy for the Hall of Fame. Players are removed from the ballot if they're named on fewer than five percent of the ballots, or if they've been on the ballot 15 times without election.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that Hoffman, featured here on the Padres' 2006 Media Guide, fell just short of induction by 34 votes. By the same token, however, I'm rather stoked about his chances for 2017. After all, like Griffey, this was Hoffman's first year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Also, historical trends show those who finish with more than 50 percent of the vote are eventually inducted into the Hall.
1996 Leaf Signature Autographs
For Hoffman, a senior advisor with the Padres, what's there not to like. If you consider his credentials - a two-time runner-up in National League Cy Young voting who also earned seven All-Star selections, 601 saves (second to Mariano Rivera's 652), including nine 40-save seasons - I believe he's indeed Hall worthy.
Not bad for a shortstop drafted in the 11th round of the 1989 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins. In light of the relievers currently in the Hall of Fame - Hoyt Wilhelm (216 saves), Rollie Fingers (341), Goose Gossage (310), Dennis Eckersley (390) and Bruce Sutter - Hoffman would be in great company. And like Sutter, Hoffman played his entire MLB career (18-years) as a reliever
2008 Upper Deck X
One question I have, however, is WHEN he's inducted into the Hall of Fame, are they going to play his iconic "Hells Bells" song? One thing I always loved about Padres games, was whenever it was "Trevor Time" and Hoffman would make his entry onto the field, AC/DC's classic song blasted over the sound system. After all, the song was used in his highlights video during his induction into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
Using "Hells Bells" as his entrance tune began July 25, 1998, the night Hoffman tied Rod Beck's record of 41-consecutive saves. According to Bob Chandler, in his book "Tales from the San Diego Padres," "Who came up with the idea of Trevor's musical accompaniment? It was a Padres salesman named Chip Bowers." Bowers now serves as an executive with the Seattle Supersonics.
1998 Ultra Gold Medallion
Here's to "Hells Bells" in 2017, when Hoffman will actually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.