The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce their 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame voting on Wednesday and former Los Angeles Dodger Mike Piazza is back for round two after narrowly missing out on receiving MLB’s greatest honor in 2013.
Piazza, a first year ballot member last year, received 329 votes out of the 569 casted for a percentage of 57.8, fourth highest on this year’s ballot. Alas, it was not enough to get into the HoF as candidates need to receive at least 75% of the vote. The former Dodger catcher was in good company, however, as not a single candidate received the minimum required vote and no member was elected for the first time since 1996.
Each of the almost 600 voters for the BBWAA have been covering baseball for a minimum of 10 years and know the game of baseball well. I think that Piazza’s “snubbing” was not much of an insult as his first year on the ballot proved to be fairly successful. This year’s voting could be different for the 6-3 native of Pennsylvania as Piazza could gain some ground.
Having never been solidly linked to any strong rumors of steroid use, Piazza holds on as one of the arguably clean players from the era of baseball plagued by PEDs. With names of the likes of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens circling around the pool of candidates, Piazza’s name stands out and we could very well see him join the HoF in 2014.
Piazza put together a career that is often regarded as the best hitting career for any catcher. His 2,127 hits, 427 home runs, .308 batting average and .377 on-base percentage make him a titan in the ranks of all-time catchers. Piazza’s home run total tops the list of catchers and he is one of only five catchers since 1901 with better than 100 home runs, 1000 RBI, a .275 average and a .300 on-base percentage – and Piazza did so while spending 15 of his 16 seasons in two of the most pitcher-friendly parks: Citi Field and Dodger Stadium.
Last year’s voting was a clear sign that a majority of the voters have faith in Piazza’s career and believe that he should be in the HoF. It is only a matter of time until he gets to the required minimum of 75% and 2014 could very well be the year he is elected. Expect to see Piazza in the Hall within the next few years.
To see a breakdown of how all of the candidates fared in this year’s HoF voting, check out the BBWAA’s story here.