Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday, while Craig Biggio fell two votes short and tainted stars of the Steroids Era remained a long way from Cooperstown.
Maddux was picked on 555 of 571 ballots by senior members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth-highest in the history of voting.
Glavine, Maddux’s longtime teammate in the Atlanta rotation, appeared on 525 ballots and received 91.9 percent. Thomas, the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter, was at 478 and 83.7 percent.
Thomas said he accepts the view of many Hall of Famers that players whose accomplishments are muddied by accusations of steroid use, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, do not belong in the Hall.
“I’ve got to take the right stance, too. No, they shouldn’t get in,” he said. “There shouldn’t be cheating allowed to get into the Hall of Fame.”
The trio are to be inducted on July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee. Maddux and Glavine, who played under Cox for most of their careers, are to become the first pair of 300-game winners to be inducted in the same year.
“It’s exciting for me to go in with my teammate,” Maddux said.
The only other time three players were elected together in their first appearances was in 1999 with Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount.
Controversy over how to evaluate stars tainted by the Steroids Era continued to impact the vote totals of players with stellar statistics.
In their second appearances on the ballot, Clemens dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4, Bonds from 36.2 to 34.7 and Sammy Sosa from 12.5 to 7.2.
Bonds, baseball’s career home-run leader, is the only seven-time Most Valuable Player in major league history. Clemens is the lone seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
“As for what they did, I don’t think any of us will ever really know,” Thomas said. “But I can just tell you, what I did was real and that’s why I’ve got this smile on my face right now, because the writers, they definitely got it right.”