the 2017 hall of fame class welcomes three deserving players among the ranks of baseball’s elite.
The results are in and the 2017 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class will see Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez all enshrined forever amongst the greatest baseball players of all time. For those unfamiliar, in order to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame a player needs a vote on at least 75% of submitted ballots. On this ballot Jeff Bagwell earned the most votes with 86.2%, Raines followed closely behind with 82%, and Ivan Rodriguez just barely made it in with 76%.
Jeff Bagwell was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 1989 draft. Bagwell was traded to the Houston Astros later that season and went on to spend the rest of his career with Houston. Bagwell’s peak seasons were in the middle of the steroid era, among players who unfortunately chose to play the game a little differently than others. Bagwell was no stranger to the allegations as it seemed any player to display an ounce of power was accused of something once all of the dust settled. His 449 career home runs put him at 38th all-time. Bagwell joins fellow “Killer B” Craig Biggio as a Houston Astros Hall of Fame representative.
Tim Raines, of course, is well known and loved in the city of Chicago, having spent five years on the South Side. Raines played 23 seasons in the majors, primarily as a member of the Montreal Expos from 1979 to 1990, then again in 2001. Raines, a player who wasn’t afraid to utilize his quickness on the basepaths, holds fifth place on the all-time stolen bases list with 808.
Ivan Rodriguez cements his place among the greatest catchers in the history of the game with this induction. Rodriguez played a good portion of his career with the Texas Rangers before joining the Florida Marlins for their 2003 championship. After a few good years with the Detroit Tigers Rodriguez bounced around before retiring in 2011. It is interesting to note that four-time world champion catcher Jorge Posada, in his first year on the ballot, didn’t earn enough votes to remain on future ballots.
It’s fun to see players I grew up watching now claiming their spot in the Hall of Fame. I have very fond memories of both Bagwell and Rodriguez, and I wish I could have seen Raines in his prime instead of looking at stat pages on Baseball Reference. If you have any memories of any of the players inducted this year I would like to invite you to share them in the comments! Baseball is best when shared with others and this is the perfect time to reflect on past years.