Biggio, the catcher and second baseman for the Houston Astros who was the top vote getter in 2013, came within two votes of earning election. He got 74.8 percent of the vote. He tied Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin of not getting selected. Traynor was elected in 1948. Fox was in his last year on the ballot and was elected by the Veterans Committee in 1997.
“As surprised as I was last year about him not getting in,” Glavine said, “I almost feel heartbroken for him this year. It is just a matter for time.”
Added Thomas: “I don’t want to use the word tragic, but it has got to be a tragic day for him.”
Piazza, the former New York Mets catcher, also increased his vote percentage, from 57.8 percent in 2013 to 62.2 percent in 2014.
Glavine played with the Mets from 2003-07. While he was a Met, he won his 300th game on Aug. 5, 2007 against the Cubs in Chicago.
“I had a lot of fun in New York,” he said. “It was a great five years. Certainly it was tough for my family to have me gone, but it was a great five years. I will always have fond memories for the Mets organization, because it is a good organization but also because I got my 300th win for them.”
Pitcher Jack Morris, on his 15th and final ballot, went down significantly in voting percentage, from 67.7 percent in 2013 to 61.5 percent. Morris, who was the World Series MVP in 1991 and played on three other series winners, will have his Hall of Fame fate decided by the Expansion Era Committee, which will vote again on candidates for the 2017 Induction.
“I know how much it meant to him,” said Thomas, who has worked with Morris on the MLB network. “We’re not going to lose hope now because hopefully the veterans committee will get him in.”
Bonds and Clemens, the winners of seven MVP and Cy Young awards, respectively, saw their voting percentages shrink in their second year on the ballot. Clemens dipped to 35.4 percent. Bonds garnered 34.7.
In addition to Smoltz, the top new candidates on the ballot for 2015 will be Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield.