The voting results for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2018 class were announced on Wednesday, and an impressive four former stars were inducted. The class will be headlined by Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, both of of whom were on the ballot for the first time, and they’ll be joined by Vladimir Guerrero and former Cincinnati Reds draftee Trevor Hoffman.
Jones, the 1st overall pick from the 1990 draft by the Atlanta Braves, spent his entire career with the organization that drafted him, amassing an impressive 85.0 career bWAR in the process. With 2726 hits, 468 homers, and a career .303/.401/.529 career batting line, Jones breezed into the Hall in his first opportunity, being listed on an impressive 97.2% of all ballots.
Joining Jones as a 1st ballot hall of famer is Thome, whose 612 career homers rank 8th on baseball’s all time list. A veteran of the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies, Thome spent the bulk of his career (13 seasons) with the Cleveland Indians, with whom he blasted 337 of those career dingers.
Vlad Guerrero earned election this year after narrowly missing in 2017, his 1st year on the HoF ballot. Guerrero’s combination of power (449 homers) and speed (a 40 steal season in 2002) was as unique as his quirkiness, as his legendary plate coverage and willingness to swing at damn near everything stood out in an era often only defined by homers. Add-in a rocket of an arm, and Guerrero was long a fan favorite as a member of the Montreal Expos before later joining the Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles, and Texas Rangers.
Rounding out the electees is Hoffman, the longtime closer for the San Diego Padres. The former shortstop was famously plucked from the Reds by the Florida Marlins in their expansion draft after having converted to a pitcher, and that position change now ends with him having a plaque in Cooperstown. Hoffman’s 601 career saves are the most in baseball history (non Mariano Rivera division).
Edgar Martinez narrowly missed out, but will likely get the votes needed in next year’s round, as he’ll be in his final year of eligibility. Further down the ballot, former Red Scott Rolen received enough support to remain on the ballot after showing up on 10.2% of them.