Greg Maddux threw his last pitch in a major league baseball uniform as a Dodger in the 2008 playoffs. I remember at the time watching Maddux grab the game ball and walk off the field without any attention from the Dodger Stadium fans. (Of course the Dodgers had just been eliminated.) Today he was elected by the baseball writers to the sport's hall of fame in his first year of eligibility. Maddux received the most votes and will go into the hall with his longtime fellow Atlanta Braves teammate, Tom Glavine, whose LA connection is that he was drafted as a hockey player by the Los Angeles Kings. Also elected was the great hitter for the White Sox, Frank Thomas. All were on the ballot for the first year. The former Dodgers manager Joe Torre was previously selected and will be inducted this summer in the same ceremony as those players.
Maddux received votes on 97.2 percent of the ballots cast, to lead the vote. Glavine was named on 91.9 percent, Thomas on 83.7 percent.
Maddux made 19 starts for the Dodgers in two separate stints with the team, in 2006 and in 2008. He also played for the Cubs and Padres, but made his biggest impact with the Braves. Maddux won 355 games in his career, ranking 8th on the all-time list of pitchers, and won the Cy Young Award in four straight years.
Ex-Dodger Mike Piazza finished fifth in the voting with 62.2 percent, but he needed 75 percent to be elected. He will be on the ballot again next year. Former Dodger Jeff Kent was way down the list with 15.2 percent. Dodgers managewr was on the ballot as a player and drew 8.2 percent.
Former Dodgers Hideo Nomo and Paul LoDuca were on the ballot for the first time but did not receive enough votes to stay on the ballot next year.
Ken Gurnick, a Los Angeles-based reporter for MLB.com, was the object of a lot of stories after disclosing yesterday that he voted for only one player on his hall of fame ballot: pitcher Jack Morris. Gurnick has explained that would not vote for any player who played during the era of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, though many have questioned that principle and when the era began. Gurnick said he would refrain from voting on the hall in the future.