Maddux, Glavine, Thomas elected to Hall of Fame
New York: Former Atlanta Braves star pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and retired superstar slugger Frank Thomas were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in voting announced on Wednesday.
With 75 percent support from 571 votes cast by a media panel needed to ensure enshrinement, Maddux received 97.2 percent while Glavine had 91.9 percent backing and Thomas was supported by 83.7 percent.
Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits in 20 years with the Houston Astros, received 74.8 percent support, missing the 429 votes he needed by only two votes, matching the smallest margin to miss out on the honor in Hall of Fame history.
Maddux and Glavine became the first first-time eligible pitchers elected together since Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson in the inaugural 1936 class and the first regular starters from the same team`s rotation to be elected to the US sporting shrine in the same year since 1946.
Maddux won 355 games, eighth-best on the all-time Major League Baseball list, with a 3.16 earned-run average over 23 seasons, including 18 in which he won the Gold Glove for fielding skill.
He won four Cy Young Awards in a row as the National League`s best pitcher from 1992 through 1995 with the Braves, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego.
Glavine took two Cy Young awards and won 305 games over 22 seasons.
Thomas batted .301 with 521 home runs and 1,704 runs batted in over 19 major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto and Oakland.
The trio will be enshrined July 27 at Cooperstown, New York, along with three long-time managers -- Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa -- who were named by the expansion era committee last month.
That means Glavine and Maddux will receive the honor alongside Cox, their long-time manager with the Braves.
The six total enshrinees will be the most since 1971. It comes a year after the media panel voted no one into the Hall of Fame, in part as recognition of the sport`s doping era, with Biggio missing out in 2013 by 39 votes.
Players who have links to performance-enhancing drugs lost support among Hall of Fame voters.
US all-time homer king Barry Bonds, whose former personal trainer was among those convicted in the BALCO steroid scandal, saw his support slide from 36.2 percent last year in his first try to 34.7 percent.
Roger Clemens, who pitched 354 career wins with a 3.12 earned-run average and the third-best all-time strikeout total at 4,672, saw his vote percentage fall from 37.6 percent to 35.4 percent.
Clemens was accused of using steroids in a probe of doping in the sport and was charged with perjury when he denied doping to US lawmakers, although he was found innocent of lying to Congress in 2012.
Mark McGwire, who has admitted using steroids, slipped from 16.9 percent in 2013 to 11.0 percent.
Rafael Palmeiro, who famously wagged his finger at lawmakers denying he was a dope cheat only to test positive a few months later, saw his support slip from 8.8 percent last year to 4.4 percent, not enough to qualify to have his name on next year`s ballot.