Goose Gossage now looks like a shoo-in for next year when the best first-timer on the ballot will be Tim Raines. Gossage received 71.2% of the votes and no player has ever received over 70% of the votes and not eventually been elected.
Of course, this year was widely viewed as a referendum on steroids with Mark McGwire on the ballot and the voters showed that Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, and even Barry Bonds shouldn't be booking any future trips to Cooperstown. Big Mac got only 128 votes (23.5%).
Other interesting notes:
- Harold Baines incredibly only received 5.3% of the votes in his first year on the ballot. I'm not ready to say he is a Hall of Famer, but as I have noted before, I would think his non-chemically enhanced numbers 2,866 hits/39th overall and 1,628 RBI/23rd overall) would translate to more support.
- Andre Dawson and Jim Rice both saw their support drop, when I thought their numbers when reflected against the juiced era would now look that much better. In fact, no player other than Gossage saw his percentages go up this year.
- Steve Garvey, not being able to count on the votes of his many children, earned 21.1% of the votes in his 15th and final year on the ballot.
- McGwire's fellow Bash Brother received six votes (1.1% or six less than Paul O'Neil) in his first and as it turns out only year on the ballot. A player must receive five percent of the votes to stay on the ballot.
- Others who won't be back include Albert Belle, Orel Hershiser and Bret Saberhagen.
- Jay Buhner got a single vote, while four players failed get any: Scott Brosius, Wally Joyner, Bobby Witt, and Devon White.