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Former Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman elected into Baseball Hall of Fame

25 January 2018

"I had looked forward to voting for first-timers Jones, Thome and Vizquel - though only Jones and Thome will be first-ballot Hall of Famers - and the same a year ago for Guerrero". Thome joined Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman in the Class of 2018.

It appeared in the preliminary count of revealed ballots this week that both might make a leap above the 60 percent level, but they ended up falling back in the final tally and made only a slight improvement over last year's percentages. Of those four, though, only Vizquel now shows up on at least 15 percent of the ballots.

Guerrero and Hoffman, a pair of players with Southern California ties who narrowly missed baseball's ultimate honor previous year, were among four players elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The 1999 National League Most Valuable Player, Jones tormented the Mets for such a long time, and enjoyed doing it so much that he named a son "Shea" after the Mets' former home. He now ranks second on the all-time save list.

Hoffman was chosen in his third year.

The Chronicle is in a unique position with six staff writers entrusted with casting Hall of Fame ballots.

Howard Cole, the founding director of IBWAA, said in recent years that some of the voters have spoken out against electing players into the Hall of Fame from baseball's steroid era.

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Thome was a five-time All-Star, including during the 2006 season when he played for the White Sox.

Jones played 19 years, all for the Braves.

Call me stubborn, but while considering dropping them to add one or two other intriguing candidates, I stuck for another year with Jeff Kent (most career homers by a second baseman) and Fred McGriff (493 homers), even though neither has much of a chance for BBWAA induction. Next closest was former New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina at 63.5 percent. He posted a career ERA of 2.87 to go along with 1,133 strikeouts. My 10th pick was Mussina, who I wanted to include for the last two years for racking up 270 wins despite spending his entire career in the powerful AL East. Shortstop Omar Vizquel, the modern-day version of Ozzie Smith, barely got left off my ballot.

The induction will take place on Sunday, July 29 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

For players like Clemens, PEDs helped restore them to their youthful prime, but Bonds was different: nearly overnight, from age 36-39, he became a vastly better hitter than he had been at his age 27-28 natural peak, and along the way shattered a battery of records held by revered figures like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

Former Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman elected into Baseball Hall of Fame