Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
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It's going to be a Braves new world at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
A year after no players were elected by the writers, former Braves aces Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine Wednesday were voted into the Hall along with slugging designated hitter Frank Thomas.
Maddux and Glavine will join former Braves manager Bobby Cox, who was voted in last month along with fellow skippers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa by the expansion era committee.
"I just think it's awesome to go into the Hall of Fame with Tom Glavine,'' Maddux said. "I think it's just an added bonus for me personally.''
While there was joy in Georgia, there was also heartbreak for Houston -- and Long Island. Smithtown native and former Kings Park High School star Craig Biggio missed by two votes in his second year on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot. Biggio received 74.8 percent of the votes -- 75 percent is needed for induction.
Former Mets catcher Mike Piazza fell short of induction in his second year of eligibility with 62.2 percent, up from 57.8 in 2013. On Twitter, Piazza congratulated the inductees and said: "Thanks to all the voters for their support!''
Also not elected was former Twins and Tigers pitcher Jack Morris, who picked up 61.5 percent of the vote in his 15th and final year on the BBWAA ballot.
"I'm very glad it's over,'' said Morris, who can be considered by the expansion era committee every three years under current rules. "Fifteen years of being critiqued ought to be enough for anybody.''
Of the three first-timers who made it, Maddux got the most votes, as expected. The four-time Cy Young Award winner and 355-game winner was named on 97.2 percent of the ballots, eighth-highest ever. Tom Seaver holds the record with 98.84 percent in 1992.
Glavine won his 300th as a member of the Mets in 2007. The 305-game winner got 91.9 percent of the vote.
"On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we congratulate Tom Glavine on his election to the baseball Hall of Fame,'' Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement.
"I had a lot of fun in New York,'' Glavine said. "It was a great experience being in New York and playing in New York. I'll always have fond memories for the Mets organization for the opportunity, but also because I won my 300th game in their uniform. That's something I certainly will never forget.''
Thomas, who hit 521 home runs mostly as a designated hitter for the White Sox, received 83.7 percent. Thomas is the first player elected who played the majority of his games at DH.
It's the first time three first-timers were elected since George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount in 1999.
Jeff Bagwell, a longtime Astros teammate of Biggio's, was the only other player named on more than half of the ballots (54.3 percent).
Support fell for players who have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs: Roger Clemens (35.4 percent), Barry Bonds (34.7), Mark McGwire (11) and Sammy Sosa (7.2). Rafael Palmeiro fell off the ballot after receiving 4.4 percent of the vote. A player must get 5 percent to stay on the ballot.
"As for what they did, I don't think any of us will ever really know," Thomas said. "But I can just tell you, what I did was real and that's why I've got this smile on my face right now because the writers, they definitely got it right."
Former Yankee Mike Mussina got 20.3 percent in his first year of eligibility. Don Mattingly received 8.2 percent.
One writer voted for former Mets and Yankees (and Long Island Ducks) reliever Armando Benitez. Of the 571 ballots submitted, one was blank.
The ballot will be crowded again next year as Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield will be among the first-time eligibles.