MLB Hall of Fame: Bonds Gains Steam, Kent Falls Back

Designated hitter Edgar Martinez came close after a grass-roots campaign to boost him.

Former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa once again fell far short of Hall of Fame status, garnering about 8 percent of the vote.

Chipper Jones was the easy choice for baseballs Hall of Fame this year, completing an unlikely journey from the tiny Central Florida town of Pierson to Cooperstown, N.Y., with a hefty 97.2 percent of the vote, released Wednesday.

Thome led the American League in walks three times in his Indians career, and hit 20 or more home runs in each of his last nine full seasons with the Tribe (1994-2002), including a personal best, and team-record, 52 round-trippers in 2002.

Guerrero, a second year selection, will forever be known as one of the most unsafe sluggers to ever grace the batter's box for the Expos and Angels.

Guerrero, the 2004 American League MVP, was a nine-time All-Star and an eight-time Silver Slugger Award victor.

Bonds's chances of reaching the Hall looked good past year, after his vote percentage rose from 44.3 percent in 2016 to 53.8 percent in 2017.

Pierson's Chipper Jones was a almost unanimous selection Wednesday to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Braves have had an inductee with a tie to the organization elected to the Hall of Fame in four of the last five classes, starting in 2013 with James "Deacon" White.

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Other candidates making the Hall of Fame include Jim Thome, Vlad Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

"Growing up I had Larry Walker and from Calgary, where I'm from, Chris Reitsma, as a pitcher to look up to, but there wasn't that much", says Jim Henderson, the 35-year-old former Brewers and Mets reliever. For those 12, I ask, were there 10 other players on the ballot more worthy than Jones or do you actually not believe he is a Hall of Famer period. Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young Award victor, got 57.3 percent this year vs. 54.1 percent last year.

His total of 612 homers ranks eighth in baseball history, and he sits 26th in career RBIs with 1,699 and seventh in walks with 1,747.

Thome, 47, spent 12½ of his 22 major league seasons with the Cleveland Indians.

They have a long, long way to go if they hope to break 75 percent on any of the next four ballots.

"It's unfortunate that some of the best players of this era have a cloud of suspicion because you're talking about ... guys that would be considered the greatest players of all-time", Jones said, alluding to Clemens and Bonds. The latter six did not receive a single vote.

Rivera heads the ballot next year. Jones knocked 468 home runs out of the park. Having covered the steroid era, my personal opinion has always been that their inclusion would be a stain on the Hall of Fame. "There are going to be some voters that will never vote for them, but I think they're gaining steam with some of the newer voters who are coming on and voting for the first time or two".

  • Regina Holmes