Last year, for the first time in nearly a generation, no former star player was elected. This year will be different. Much different.
As many as six players could gain entrance to the Hall after voting is announced today at 2 PM. But most significant will be whether alleged performance enhancing drug users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens--both on the short list of all-time greats numbers-wise--will garner enough votes for enshrinement. Of the two, it would seem as if Bonds would have the better chance despite Clemens getting more votes last time around. If you looked strictly at numbers and which one of them ranked higher on basically anyone's all-time greats list, Bonds would come out ahead. In my forty-plus years of watching baseball, Bonds was the best hitter I ever saw. Clemens was not the best pitcher
I would love to say Mike Piazza, perhaps the most feared hitting catcher of all-time, would be a lock, but I believe that too many writers lump him with the Steroid Era and, at the very least, make him wait another year or two. There is just too much suspicion, justly or unjustly, for the former Dodger and Met All Star to get in now.
My guess is that four players--Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, and Craig Biggio--get in, making it one of the larger classes voted in in years. Cooperstown, which felt the economic pinch of an election shutout last year, will once more thrive on Hall of Fame weekend in August. And four most deserving players will see their plaques take their rightful place in the hallowed halls of baseball royalty.