It’ll be a brave new world in Cooperstown this summer.
One year after an induction ceremony that drew an unusually low 2,500 fans to the Clark Sports Center, the elections Wednesday of former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, along with two-time American League MVP Frank Thomas, should make for a much livelier ceremony in July.
Hall President Jeff Idelson announced Wednesday the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted to enshrine Maddux, Glavine and Thomas. Last year, the BBWAA threw an election shutout, casting aside tainted stars such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
This time around, Maddux, Glavine and Thomas made it with room to spare.
They’ll join managers Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox -- elected by the Expansion Era Committee last month -- on stage July 27 at the Clark Sports Center for the 2014 Induction Ceremony. One day earlier, the Hall will honor Ford C. Frick Award winner Eric Nadel, J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Roger Angell and Buck O’Neil Award winner Joe Garagiola.
Maddux, Glavine and Cox enjoyed remarkable success with the Braves, reaching three World Series in the 1990s and winning it all in 1995.
“The thing that would have disappointed me the most, had it not happened would have been missing the opportunity to go in with Bobby and Greg,” said Glavine, the winner of 305 games, during a conference call with reporters following his election.
It’s the first time three players have been voted in by the BBWAA since 1999 when Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount were elected.
Maddux, who won four consecutive National League Cy Young Awards from 1992-95, was not listed on 16 ballots. He received 97.2 percent of the vote, or 555 votes out of 571 ballots. That’s the eighth highest percentage in history.
Tom Seaver earned the highest percentage at 98.84 in 1992.