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Vladimir Guerrero elected to Baseball Hall of Fame along with Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

Vladimir Guerrero, who captivated a generation of Angels fans with his easy smile, rocket arm and an almost otherworldly ability to hit even the worst of pitches for the best of results, was one of four players elected Wednesday to the Hall of Fame.

Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman also were elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The quartet elected Wednesday will be joined in the July 28 induction ceremony by Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, selected last month by a Hall of Fame veterans committee.

Edgar Martinez finished at 70.4 percent, closest to the required 75 percent. Next year will be his 10th and final year on the BBWAA ballot.

Guerrero got 92.9 percent of the vote, joining Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal as the third Dominican player in the Hall of Fame. At 42, Guerrero is the youngest current Hall of Famer.

Guerrero has yet to say whether he will wear the cap of the Angels or the Montreal Expos on his Hall of Fame plaque. He played seven full seasons in Montreal and six in Anaheim; his statistics were better with the Expos but he won his lone MVP award with the Angels in 2004.

Hoffman, the San Diego Padres' longtime closer, fell five votes short last year. His 601 saves rank second in major league history to Mariano Rivera. The National League reliever of year award is named in Hoffman's honor.

In 2013, the first year Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appeared on the ballot, the BBWAA elected no one. In the five years since then, the BBWAA has elected 16 players, a record for a five-year period.

Bonds, the all-time home run leader and only seven-time MVP, and Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young winner, likely would have won election on their first try had they not been linked to the use of steroids.

Clemens got 57 percent of the vote this year, Bonds 56 percent.

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Each has four years left on the BBWAA ballot. Each got 54 percent of the vote last year.

Jones, the 1999 National League most valuable player, is the only switch-hitter to hit 400 home runs with a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage. Jones, an eight-time All-Star, played all of his 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves.

Thome hit 612 home runs, ranking eighth on the all-time list. The five-time All-Star played for six teams in his 22 seasons.

The Angels' Albert Pujols, still active, has hit 614 home runs. The only other players ranking among the top 15 in home runs who are not in the Hall of Fame have been associated with the use of performance-enhancing substances: Bonds, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa, all of whom fell short of election again this year; Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, who were dropped from the ballot after garnering too few votes, and Alex Rodriguez, who is not yet eligible for the ballot.

The newcomers to the ballot next year include Rivera, Todd Helton, Andy Pettitte and the late Roy Halladay.

(c)2018 Los Angeles Times

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