Hoffman first Arizona Wildcat elected into Baseball HOF

Chipper Jones and Jim Thome got in on their first try, while Vladimir Guerrero (second) and Trevor Hoffman (third) also got in.

Notable names that were turned down by the Baseball Writers' Association of America include Edgar Martinez, who came up just 20 votes shy, and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, both of whom are marred by the steroid scandal.

Hoffman, an 18-year Major League Baseball veteran who played at Arizona from 1988-89, will be the first Wildcat alumnus to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Thome slammed 612 home runs across 22 seasons, including 13 years with the Cleveland Indians.

Guerrero became one of the league's most colorful players, putting on a hitting clinic and being named to nice All-Star teams in his 16 year career. The former Padres closer used an outstanding changeup to post 601 saves, second to Mariano Rivera's 652, and revved up fans in San Diego with rocking entrances to "Hells Bells" by AC/DC.

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Thome is also the fourth player to have played with the Sox and be elected to the Hall of Fame in the last five years.

This July the MLB Hall of Fame will be gaining four new members to its prestigious club. Harold Reynolds himself, in the interview with Thome, highlighted his kind personality joking "his niceness got him into the Hall of Fame".

"Everything starts at your roots", Thome said Wednesday after learning the news. From 2010-2013, the writers only voted in four players, angering many.

"It's a big number, a special, special number", Thome told the Star Tribune at the time. Everything pointed to those four getting in this year.

During his 22-year Major League Baseball career, Thome collected 2,328 hits in 8,422 at-bats (.276 batting average) with 451 doubles, 26 triples and 612 home runs. Bonds got 56.4% and Clemens got 57.3%, averaging an increase of about 3%.

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Ninety-seven percent of the voters chose Jones in the balloting.

"It's unfortunate that some of the best players of this era have a cloud of suspicion because you're talking about ... guys that would be considered the greatest players of all-time", Jones said, alluding to Clemens and Bonds. Ex-Devil Ray Aubrey Huff didnt receive any votes and dropped off the ballot, as did Johnny Damon (eight votes).

"I'm biased, along with most Canadians, but I don't see a reason why he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame and if you want to hold Coors Field against him, I don't see that as a rational reason", says Francis.

They still have a chance to make a surge next year, because the ballot will not be almost so crowded with strong candidates. Other players don't seem to have their stats adjusted for park factor and Francis points out that during his MVP season of 1997, for example, his home/road splits included the following: 20/29 home runs; 30/16 doubles; 1.169/1.176 OPS.

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