Jim Thome gives White Sox a place in Cooperstown’s Class of 2018

Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman also voted in

The Hall of Fame electorate acted as expected by making the Class of 2018 four players strong. Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman all coasted into Cooperstown on Wednesday, and without a whole lot of waiting involved.

  • Jones received 97.2 percent of the vote in his first year.
  • Guerrero‘s support shot up more than 21 percent in his second year, ending up at 92.9 percent.
  • Thome made it on his first ballot with a healthy 89.8 percent.
  • Hoffman cleared the bar in his third year with 79.9 percent.

Thome, who clubbed 134 of his 612 homers for the local team of interest, will be a part of the Carlton Fisk wing of White Sox Hall of Famers. He’ll likely wear a Cleveland cap since he’s still that franchise’s all-time home run leader, but the White Sox are the team he’s likely next-most associated with.

You can imagine how he took the news:

The inductions of Guerrero and Hoffman puts a small dent in the backlog, which is crucial since 2019’s ballot is only likely to add to it. Mariano Rivera will coast in, but the three other compelling cases — the late Roy Halladay, along with Todd Helton and Andy Pettitte — all may get caught in the same electoral quicksand that has snagged comparable players. (I’m especially interested in Pettitte, who could be telling about whether PED protests are selectively applied.)

As for the guys who fell short, there were a few notable developments. Parsing the results:

*Edgar Martinez jumped from 58.6 to 70.4 percent in his ninth year on the ballot. With only one no-doubt Hall of Famer in next year’s class, he seems likely to get into Cooperstown in his final year of eligibility. (Fred McGriff will also fall off the ballot, but in the other direction.)

*Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds saw an increase of three and zero votes, respectively, but both gained a few percentage points (57.3 and 56.4). Their fate rests upon how quickly the electorate turns over during their final four years of eligibility, as they’re clearing the bar with first-time voters.

*Mike Mussina got past Clemens and Bonds, which seems like a milestone for any candidate. His support jumped nearly a dozen points to 63.5 percent, and he has five more years to get to 75 percent. This was a big year for him.

*Curt Schilling‘s self-sabotage is working, as he’s still stuck below Bonds and Clemens at 51 percent, although it’s up from 45 percent last year. He could probably make up the ground over the next four years if, well, you know.

*Omar Vizquel debuted at 37 percent, which is strong for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is close to his ceiling, as he seemed to be the one most associated with weird-assed ballots.

*Larry Walker got a big boost of a dozen points. At 34.1 percent with two years remaining, he’s got 41 points to go and a short time to get there.

*Gary Sheffield lost two points, however, going from 13.3 to 11.1 percent.

*Scott Rolen (10.2) and Andruw Jones (7.3) made it to a second ballot, which both deserved at the very least. It wasn’t a given when the whole process began.

*Carlos Lee got a vote.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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KenWo voted, I see.


I really thought Edgar would make it in this year and Mussina would be knocking on the door to get in next year. Then I remind myself the Paul Sullivan has a vote.

Ted Mulvey

Not to mention Murray Chass. (Though, surprisingly, he voted for 4 players this year, including Edgar: I was shocked at his ballot submission this year…4 players(!); for him, nearly unbelievable)


Have to imagine that Halladay gets in next year, even with what has recently come to light about the circumstances of his crash.

Hopefully Edger benefits from the final year push we often see.

Sad to see Walker with so little support with so little time left.

I think Rolen might eventually make it in especially if he gets some campaigns along the way.


I hadn’t heard about Roy’s toxicology when he crashed. Yikes.


I don’t think Halladay gets in on the first ballot, but maybe on the second? I also don’t know why the toxicology report would have anything to do with him getting in.


A lot of people will assume her was using amphetamines while he was playing


Looking at his numbers I don’t really think he’s a first balloter either, but I was assuming his death would lead to surge in voting (if that makes sense), but some of that goodwill could be soured now that we know the circumstances.

Lurker Laura

I’m always happy when a former White Sox gets in. Otherwise, I don’t concern myself too much with the Hall. But good for Jim!


Player A=47th among position players in fWAR over best 7 year stretch. 1582nd all time in MVP shares.

Player B=1st (tied with Halladay) among pitchers in fWAR over best 7 year stretch. 13th all time in Cy Young shares.

Player A got 37% of the vote, and player B 2.4%, and is now off the ballot. Take a bow, idiots.



I am puzzled by the relative performance of Omar Vizquel vs. Andruw Jones. Both rely heavily on defense though Andruw swung a good bat.

Patrick Nolan

Interesting way to frame the Johan argument


I’ll always opt for greatness over very goodness for longer when it comes to the HOF. 7 years is a decent sample to be THE best. Guys have a better chance being top 10-20 for 10-12 years I suppose, but for the HOF I’m a sucker for THE guy. 10 guys in MLB history have won 3 Cys, and it would be 11 without the 2005 jobbing. I’m not necessarily saying he should be in, just how goofy these parameters people have come up with are. I mean, how can someone with a HOF vote see Omar Vizquel played 20 years and was an all star 3 times and declare him best of the best?


The video was Great! Congrats Jimmy!


Thome personifies the golly gee, awe shucks character which I find very likable. Good for him.


Scott Rolen at 10% is criminal negligence.


He’s pretty much everything the Vizquel backers claim Vizquel is, except he was also actually good at hitting. That Vizquel got nearly 40 percent while Rolen is down at 10 is bonkers.


Vizquel and Trevor Hoffman are just weird cases… would you trade player X for player Y is far from perfect, but how far down the ballot would you have to get to find someone you’d trade Hoffman for straight up? Matsui? Lower? The same could be done with Vizquel.

And since no one has mentioned White Sox legend Orlando Hudson not receiving a vote, I will.

Trooper Galactus

I think relievers have to be judged on the merits relative to other relievers.  Let’s face it: aside from Rivera, nobody trades a good starter to get an elite closer, even if that starter is, at best, a Hall of Very Good type.  Vizquel could at least make the argument that he was the best defensive shortstop of his generation, which isn’t nothing, but yeah, his general lack of bat makes it surprising he got as much support as he did as opposed to Rolen, who seems to be getting dinged for his shorter, injury-riddled career.


The best 7 years I cited earlier for Vizquel was 98-04.

Position player fWAR 98-04 Leaders

1.Bonds 66.8
2.ARod 55.7
3.Rolen 43.8
4.Andruw 43.4


Trooper Galactus

Apparently voters were looking at dWAR only.


How would you feel if you were next down the ballot the year Bonds and Clemens got in?


Great trade by the Brewers.


Marlins did better than I expected on the return. Good trade for both teams.


I like the Cain signing less. Wonder what pitcher they’re going to acquire now?

Trooper Galactus

I’d assume they’ll try to trade some of their outfield surplus (and/or Thames) for a pitcher if they can.


Now that the Brewers have Yelich and Cain, is that rumored deal with the White Sox to unload Braun or another OF type?

Right Size Wrong Shape

If they could get the Sox to take on some salaries with prospects, that could open up more money to throw at Darvish.


I don’t see the Sox eating contract that long.

Brewers will either use their excess OF’s on a SP, or go Yelich, Cain, Santana in the OF and use Braun as an OF and 1B platoon bat, while signing a 2nd tier SP. (guessing)


Glad to see Thome got in, he deserves it. Glad to see Mussina is closer, he deserves the Hall one day and should get in. Glad Bonds and Clemens are still not in, and glad Schilling the asswipe is not in. And I hope Visquel gets in, defense should count too.


All hail Vlad!

Trooper Galactus

Glad to see four deserving guys get in, but if the Hall voters had not spent the last decade-plus being complete buffoons we wouldn’t have this backlog.