The Goose is headed to Cooperstown.
Rich “Goose” Gossage was elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America to the National Baseball Hall of Fame today, garnering nearly 86 percent of the vote (466 total votes) on his ninth appearance on a ballot. He was the only player to receive the requisite 75 percent of the total votes for admission to the HOF.
Jim Rice, who came in second in the voting (392 total votes), missed gaining entrance to Cooperstown by 2.8 percent (72.2) below the necessary 75 percent to gain admission.
Rice was followed by Andre Dawson (65.9 percent, 392 total votes), and Bert Blyleven (61.9 percent of the vote, or 336 total votes).
Of the 11 players to be on the ballot for the first time, Tim Raines was the only player on the ballot to garner enough votes to be on next year’s ballot.
The taint of the “Steroid Era” was evident in the voting. Brady Anderson did not receive a single vote, and Chuck Knoblauch, who is named in the Mitchell Report and has been asked to testify before Congress, only garnered one vote.
As for Mark McGwire, he received nearly the same percentage of votes as he did last year (128 total votes, or 23.6 percent).
If you believe in playing the odds, Rice should make into the HOF in a future vote. This marks the 21st time that a player has received more than 70% and less than 75% of the votes in a Hall of Fame election. On all 20 of the previous occasions, the player has eventually been elected to the Hall of Fame. There have been five previous instances in the last 20 years (beginning 1989) where that has been the case: Gaylord Perry (72.1%) in 1990; Orlando Cepeda (73.5%) in 1994; Bruce Sutter (73.2%) in 1997; Gary Carter (72.7%) in 2002; and Rich Gossage (71.2%) in this most current '07 vote.
In this author’s opinion, the most surprising vote tally may be for Alan Trammell, who came in only tenth in the voting with 99 votes, or 18.2 percent.
Below are the results from the BBWAA’s vote:
Source: The National Baseball Hall of Fame