At 2 p.m. EST today, Major League Baseball will announce its baseball Hall of Fame class for 2011.
There has been much debate over this years potential inductees and the topic is often quite polarizing. Most of the media attention has focused around whether Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will make it in this year. Both players came within percentage points of making the hall last year but bot missed by less than 10 votes. A player must be selected on at least 75% of the ballots to get into the Hall.
Alomar, a 12-time All-Star and 10-time gold glove winner is only in his 2nd year of induction eligibility and last year missed the hall by only five votes. Blyleven, however is in his 14th try for the hall and players only get 15 opportunities on the ballot. The right-handed pitcher received 74% of the vote last year and is widely considered a lock for him to pick up the extra handful of votes in his second to last try.
Ballot first timers include Astros long time star Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez and Tino Martinez.
Bagwell may have a long road ahead of him if he hopes to make the Hall, as many sports writers and voters are dealing with rumors and suspicion of steroid use by the 15-year Houston Astro, despite any evidence that he ever used anything illegal.
For the Tampa Bay Rays, there is a connection as former Ray and local Tampa product Fred McGriff is on the ballot for a second year. McGriff finished his career just shy of 500 home runs at 493 and had a career slash line of .284/.377/.509. The road to the hall appears tough for McGriff as his career numbers are on the fringe of what is widely considered Hall of Fame worthy.