It's official. To almost no one's surprise, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Hall of Fame today. To the surprise and disappointment of some who may have been encouraged by the early public results, they were the only 2 players to be selected. Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines both fell just short of the required votes and Griffey's fellow first-year eligible guy Trevor Hoffman also fell a bit short. Griffey was named on 437 of 440 ballots, giving him the new individual record for vote percentage at 99.3%. Squawk about the 3 voters who left him off if you want. I'm going to choose to believe they made the call knowing Griffey would get in easily anyway and deciding to cast that vote for another player they thought was in need of one. We all know there are plenty of those guys out there. Piazza came in on a healthy 83% of the vote, with Bagwell falling just shy of the 75% threshold at 71.6 and Raines at 69.8. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds came in at the mid-40s, as did Edgar Martinez. Mike Mussina was at 43.0%, Larry Walker was in the mid-teens, and Jim Edmonds came in on just 2.5% of the ballots, meaning he won't be returning on the ballot next year.
As much of a bummer as it is that Bagwell and Raines didn't get in this year, they gained enough ground that they should make it in next year. And there's no denying that Griffey and Piazza are among the greatest of all-time at their respective positions, so them getting the extra shine for the ceremony is cool. Peak Griffey is one of the 5-10 greatest players in baseball history and Piazza is arguably the best hitting catcher ever. Good for them, congratulations to them both, better luck to the rest of the gang next year. I really hope Raines gets in. Now commence with the debate/argument about these results in the comments.