The BBWAA announced the addition of four more players to the Baseball Hall of Fame today - Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz. It is the first time as many as four players has been elected together since 1955. A player must be on 75% of ballots to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
Craig Biggio spent all twenty seasons of his career with the Houston Astros. He was a .281/.363/.433 hitter with 3,060 career hits, good for 21st all-time. Biggio began his career as a catcher, but moved to second base to prolong his career. He even moved to the outfield late in his career, showing his positional versatility. Biggio was a seven-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner at second base. He is fifteenth all-time in runs scored with 1,844 and fifth all-time in doubles. He stole 414 bases and his 285 hit-by-pitches are second all-time.
Craig Biggio was fairly pedestrian against the Royals, hitting .276/.330/.402 in 21 games covering 98 plate appearances. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his second ballot.
Randy Johnson won 303 games over 22 Major League seasons with the Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees, and Giants. He was a ten-time All-Star and five-time Cy Young winner, winning every year from 1999-2002. He is second all-time in strikeouts, behind only Nolan Ryan, and his 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings is the highest rate among all pitchers with a minimum of 1000 innings pitched. Known for being wild early in his career, Johnson was able to harness his command after being traded from the Expos for pitcher Mark Langston to become the most feared pitcher in the American League for the Seattle Mariners, as exemplified by this All-Star Game highlight from 1993.
Randy Johnson wasn't as dominant against the Royals as you might think. In 29 career games against Kansas City, "The Big Unit" was 15-8 with a 3.19 ERA. He did rack up an impressive 230 strikeouts in 189 innings against them, and he posted a 2.58 ERA in 13 starts at Kauffman Stadium. This 1992 performance is his best Game Score against the Royals, a 1-0 victory in which he tossed a four-hit shutout, striking out eleven. But this 5-4 complete game victory in 1997 was his best strikeout performance against the Royals, as he fanned 16. Johnson was on the ballot for the first time.
Pedro Martinez won 216 games over an 18-year career that was unfortunately marred by injuries. He began his career with the Dodgers, but like Johnson, was traded early in his career for Delino DeShields. Martinez blossomed in Montreal, winning the first of five Cy Young Awards, but the club couldn't afford to keep him so they traded him to Boston, where he won a championship in 2004. Martinez ended his career with the Mets and Phillies.
Martinez has a career ERA of 2.93, and he posted a sub-three ERA every year from 1997 to 2003, the height of the Sillyball ERA, twice posting a sub-two ERA. He was an eight-time All-Star who led the league in ERA five times and strikeouts three times. His Adjusted ERA+ is 154, second all-time and he is second all-time in strikeouts per nine innings. His 3,154 strikeouts overall at good for thirteenth all-time and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is third all-time. Pedro faced the Royals just six times, going 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA. In 43 innings against the Royals, he struck out 50, while walking just 6. His best outing against the Royals was this 2001 victory where he struck out 12 in eight shutout innings. Martinez was on the ballot for the first time.
John Smoltz won 213 games over 21 seasons mostly with the Braves, but with some time in Boston and St. Louis at the end of his career. He also racked up 154 saves in three and a half seasons after recovering from an injury that kept him out the entire 2000 season. Smoltz won the 1996 Cy Young Award when he led the league in wins and strikeouts and he is an eight-time All-Star. Smoltz was a terrific post-season pitcher, posting a 2.67 ERA and fifteen wins in 41 post-season games (27 starts), including a 2.47 ERA in World Series play. His 3,084 career strikeouts are 16th best all-time.
John Smoltz faced the Royals just twice, a one-inning relief performance in 2004 for the Braves where he earned a save, and a five-inning start in his last season in 2009 in which he gave up just one run for the Red Sox. Smoltz was on the ballot for the first time.
Complete results are here. Catcher Mike Piazza just missed election with just under 70% of the vote. Suspected PED-users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens failed to get 40% of the vote. Slugger Carlos Delgado, who has 473 home runs, failed to get 5% of the vote and will no longer be on the ballot. Former Royals pitcher Tom Gordon received one vote, while former Royals outfielder Jermaine Dye did not receive a single vote.