Greg Maddux a shoo-in to be elected to Hall of Fame next year

Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux throws to the

Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux throws to the plate during sixth inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs in Atlanta. (April 6, 1997) (Credit: AP)

The eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America pitched a shutout in Hall of Fame voting announced Wednesday. But that shouldn't be the case next year because of a guy who threw 35 shutouts in a 23-year career.

Greg Maddux heads an impressive -- and, to date, untainted -- group of first-timers on the ballot for the Hall of Fame's class of 2014.

Maddux, with 355 wins, four NL Cy Young Awards and no steroid allegations, should get much more than the 75 percent needed for induction into Cooperstown. No players were elected by the BBWAA this year.

Maddux's former Braves teammate (and former Met) Tom Glavine also has a strong chance of being a first-time electee. Glavine won 305 games and two NL Cy Young Awards in a 22-year career.

Former Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina will be a first-timer on the ballot, as will former Mets second baseman Jeff Kent.

Slugger Frank Thomas, who has been critical of players who have been linked to steroids, will also be in his first year of eligibility. Thomas, nicknamed "The Big Hurt," was a devastating offensive player who hit 521 home runs, most of them for the White Sox. But Thomas could be shunned by some voters because he spent most of his career as a DH.

In 2011, Thomas told a Chicago radio station he was proud he never used performance-enhancing drugs. "I'm happy to go home now and sleep very, very soundly every night," he said, "not wondering if someone is going to call me to figure out what happened back in such and such."

Holdovers from this year will include Jack Morris (in his last year of eligibility), Smithtown native Craig Biggio (this year's top vote-getter) and Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, who didn't quite make it this time.

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