Baseball writers honored Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and Cleveland Indians infielder Jim Thome in their first year of Hall of Fame eligibility Wednesday night, and also added San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman and outfielder Vladimir Guerrero of the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels.
Not approved, again: ace pitcher Roger Clemens and home run kings Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, who have been strongly tied to performance-enhancing drugs.
Players, who must be retired for five years before being considered, need 75 percent of votes to get into the Hall. The Baseball Writers Association Of America approved Jones, the only switch-hitter in major league history with a .300 batting average for his career, with more than 97 percent, one of the higher vote percentages seen.
Clemens and Bonds both failed to clear 60 percent, but edged up about 3 percentage points. Players are considered for 10 years on the main ballot; Clemens and Bonds both have four years remaining.
Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez, in his ninth year of consideration, fell 20 votes short at 70.4 percent. Starting pitcher Mike Mussina of the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees also came close at 63.5 percent.
A veterans committee in December selected starting pitcher Jack Morris and shortstop Alan Trammell, who led strong Detroit Tigers teams in the 1980s, to also join the Hall of Fame in the 2018 class.
Players being considered for the first time next year will include pitcher Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton and dominant Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.