Every January, the baseball world turns their attention to the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) as they cast their votes on who will be immortalized in the baseball Hall of Fame. Highly regarded as the most prestigious moment in one’s career, election to the Hall of Fame is an outstanding honor that is understandably difficult. For the 2018 class, the BBWAA elected four players to the hall: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero. These four had their names announced for the 2018 class. All four men enjoyed illustrious and successful careers and are well deserved members of the hall.
Chipper Jones: First-ballot
2018 was Jones’ first year on the ballot, and it’s safe to say the results were more than he could have expected. The minimum percentage of votes needed to be elected is 75 percent, a mark which Jones shattered by appearing on an astounding 97 percent of the ballots cast. One could even make the argument that Chipper deserved to be an unanimous decision, and his career numbers would definitely back up this claim. Over his 19 year career, Jones managed a .304 batting average while compiling 2,726 hits and 468 home runs. Along with these impressive numbers, Jones was an eight time all star and also took home the National League MVP in 1999.
Jim Thome: First-ballot
Thome, like Chipper Jones, saw himself elected to the Hall of Fame his first year on the ballot. While he may not have gotten a whopping 97 percent of the ballots like Jones did, Thome’s name still appeared on a respectable 90 percent of the ballots. Thome put together a lengthy 22-year career that saw him play for six different teams. Despite the numerous teams and lengthy career, Thome never slowed down. His 612 career home runs are good enough for eighth on the all-time list. He won a Silver Slugger award in 1996 and hit more than 40 home runs six times, further showing his pure power at the plate.
Trevor Hoffman: Third year on the ballot
Widely regarded as the best closer of all-time before Mariano Rivera came along, Hoffman deservedly had his name called for the 2018 class. Hoffman appeared on 80 percent of the ballots cast, illustrating his pure dominance on the mound. Over his 17 year career, Hoffman amassed a whopping 601 saves, a total only bested by the aforementioned Rivera. With the game on the line, he was the last person you wanted to face. He was a lethal weapon out of the bullpen, as the second he stepped on the mound the game was all but over. Hoffman ended his dominant career with an eye-popping 1,133 strikeouts and a 2.87 earned run average (ERA).
Vladimir Guerrero: Second year on the ballot
With one of the most iconic swings to ever grace the game of baseball, Guerrero finds himself one of the newest members of the Hall of Fame. A notorious bad-ball hitter, no matter what you threw at Guerrero he would hit it. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than his career .318 batting average and 2,590 hits. Guerrero was also a nine time all-star, an eight time Silver Slugger winner and the American League MVP in 2004, further proving his incredible ability at the plate.