As expected, Barry Larkin did not garner enough votes for induction into the Hall of Fame, receiving 51.6% of the submitted ballots. Of course, this was his first year on the ballot and many writers typically hold off on voting for players in their inaugural year save for the true superheroes like Rickey Henderson. This is a respectable debut and puts him on the Ryne Sandberg track for enshrinement, IMO.
The BBWAA did elect Andre Dawson with 77.9% of the vote. Bert Blyleven fell five votes short with 74.2%, but he has two more years of eligibility to get them. Impressive considering he started with an uninspiring 17% in 1998, his first year on the ballot.
Next year a few interesting players gain eligibility, though none are locks for first-ballot induction. Jeff Bagwell and maybe Larry Walker should be, but neither had the career longevity typically associated with inner circle no-doubters. Kevin Brown has a case but was extremely unpopular with writers during his day. Rafael Palmeiro can only point to himself for what will surely be an uphill battle for induction. And speaking of which, look - it's Bret Boone on the ballot!
Next year is also Dave Parker's final shot. Cobra is a fairly marginal candidate but is just as deserving as recent inductee Jim Rice (Parker was probably feared just as much, if not more). He's unique in that he has two distinct peaks separated by a few empty years when he was plagued by a drug problem. His first peak, with Pittsburgh between '75 and '80, was outstanding. He was arguably the best player in baseball at the time. But it's all moot because the drugs and lack of durability will keep him out. Parker has plateaued at 15% and won't make the cut next year.