The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Jones, Thome, Hoffman headline 2018 Hall of Fame

Jones, Thome, Hoffman headline 2018 Hall of Fame

Wednesday night was a big night for Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, and Vladimir Guerrero. They were notified that they will be included in the 2018 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

These four greats along with Jack Morris and Alan Trammell will be part of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony which will take place on July 29th. Jones, who received an approval of 97.2 percent to be inducted, was in his first year of eligibility after spending his entire career with the Atlanta Braves. The eight-time All-Star and 1995 National League Most Valuable Player finished his 19-year career with a .303 batting average, 468 home runs, and 1,628 runs batted in. When he was notified that he would be part of the 2018 class, he described the significance of being named a Hall of Famer.

“Ultimately this is a day that’s going to change my life forever,” Jones said. “We have a handful of those in a lifetime, transcendent moments that just change your life forever. Today was certainly one of them and there’s no getting around that.”

Hoffman spent most of his career with the San Diego Padres and led the league in saves twice (1998 and 2006) and made the All-Star team seven times. He is ranked 2nd all time in total saves behind Mariano Rivera and had over 1,100 strikeouts in his role as a closer. He was able to get in with 79.9 percent of the votes needed to be inducted.

Vladimir Guerrero was not able to be part of the 2017 class in his first year of eligibility, got in this year with 92.9 percent of the vote. As a member of the Expos, Angels, Rangers, and Orioles, he hit for 449 home runs and 1,496 runs batted in. The 2004 American League Most Valuable Player and nine-time All-Star will be the first player to be enshrined in Cooperstown representing the Angels franchise. He will be the third player from the Dominican Republic in the Hall of Fame, joining Edgar Martinez and Juan Marichal.

“I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Last year I was happy when I came close, and this year I feel even happier for making it into the Hall of Fame.”

It was tough for him to choose between going in as a member of the Angels or as an Expo (where he started his career). “I toiled over this for a long time because the Canadian people mean a whole lot to me,” he said through a translator. He preferred to go in as an Angel because of “what it represented and what it represents now”.

Jim Thome was well known as a member of the Cleveland Indians, as he was a key factor in their runs to the World Series in 1995 and 1997. In 22 years as a professional, he was a five-time All-Star with 612 home runs and 1,699 runs batted in. He became a first ballot Hall of Famer along with Jones as he got in with 89.8 percent of the votes to be inducted. When he was notified of his induction, it seemed to be surreal to him.

“This is a day I don’t think any player can ever imagine happening,” Thome said. “It’s a special day in all of our lives.”

Jones, Thome, Hoffman headline 2018 Hall of Fame
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Jones, Thome, Hoffman headline 2018 Hall of Fame

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