iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Fresh off of naming baseball’s MVPs, the Baseball Writers Association of America has released the ballot for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Of the 34 players on the ballot, 15 are returning. Most notably, this is the last time Fred McGriff, Tim Raines and Lee Smith will appear on the ballot. While Smith has appeared on the ballot 15 times, McGriff and Raines are making their 10th appearance. Due to a rule change, ballot eligibility was changed from 15 years to 10 years. Smith was grandfathered in due to his name appearing on the ballot prior to the change.
Some of the 19 new players the BWAA have deemed Hall of Fame eligible include Vladimir Guerrero, Jorge Posada and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
A player is inducted into the Hall of Fame if they receive 75-percent of the vote. They also need at least 5-percent to stay on the ballot for the next year. All players who appear on the ballot must have played 10 seasons in the Major Leagues. In addition, their final game must have been at least five years ago.
Former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell looks most likely to be inducted, as he received almost 72-percent of the vote last year.
All votes must be submitted by Dec. 31. The Class of 2017 will be revealed on Jan. 18 during a live broadcast on MLB Network.
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