Ivan Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero headline the new crop of eligible Hall of Fame candidates in a list released by the Baseball Writers of America today. Rodriguez spent 21 years in the big leagues, mostly with the Rangers, but also with the Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, Astros, and Nationals. He was a 14-time All-Star and seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and his 13 Gold Gloves are the most ever at the catcher position. He hit .296/.334/.464 with 311 home runs, and 2,844 hits, the most ever by a player who played primarily catcher. He was named American League MVP in 1999 and was NLCS MVP for the Marlins in 2003, when he won his only championship ring.
Vladimir Guerrero was known for his rifle arm and prodigious power in a 16-year career with the Expos, Angels, Rangers, and Orioles. He was a nine-time All-Star, an eight-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he was named American League MVP in 2004 with the Angels. He hit .318/.379/.553 with 449 home runs in his career.
Manny Ramirez is also on the ballot for the first time, although his 2009 suspension for performance-enhancing drugs will hurt his case. Ramirez spent 19 years in the big leagues with the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, White Sox, and Rays, with 555 career home runs and a line of .312/.411/.585. He was a 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and his 29 post-season home runs are the most ever.
The only former Royals player on the ballot is Matt Stairs, who spent 2005 and 2006 in Kansas City. Other first timers on the ballot include Casey Blake, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Derrek Lee, Melvin Mora, Magglio Ordonez, Jorge Posada, Edgar Renteria, Arthur Rhodes, Freddy Sanchez, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield.
Lee Smith and Tim Raines are on the ballot for the final time. Jeff Bagwell also returns after falling just 15 votes shy of induction last year. Other holdovers include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner, and Larry Walker.
Players must be on 75% of ballots to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Results will be announced on January 18, 2017 at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network. Who would be on your ballot?