This year's Baseball Hall of Fame class: players you've actually heard of

baseball hall of fame 2014 classThe Baseball Hall of Fame -- in Cooperstown, as you know -- announced the 2014 class of inductees Wednesday, and it's a notable group. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas all got the nod on their first ballot. The trio will be inducted in Cooperstown this July 27.

This year's class is a big turnaround from last year's group, which was headed by... umpire Hank O'Day, and included a former Yankees owner and a 19th century third baseman. When the marquee name in an induction class is an umpire, you're not exactly talking about high wattage.

But this year is great. Maddux is one of the all-time great pitchers -- not just Hall of Fame great, but one of the handful of best ever. And Glavine and Thomas are no slouches, either. And they're recent! There's a good chance you once had one of these guys on your fantasy team.

Also adding to this year's class: managers Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox were elected to hall by the Expansion Era Committee last month. More star power.

As a result, Cooperstown -- just about 70 miles from Albany -- should be hopping for induction weekend this year. If you're a big baseball fan, it can be fun. We went a bunch of years ago and it was... very hot. But lawn "seats" are free and "virtually unlimited on a first-come, first-served basis."

image: Baseball Hall of Fame


This is one of the few times that the induction class is comprised solely of first-time ballots. I think the last time was in '99, maybe? Especially interesting is that 2/3 of the players class is made up of pitchers who made their professional marks playing for the same team, same era.

Still, there is no reason that the fourth spot couldn't be filled, considering the wealth of great players that were eligible this year. Biggio? Mattingly? Some serious snubs.

The fact that LaRussa and Torre were voted in is a sham. The 2 managers who benefitted the most of the the steroid era and they suffer no back lash that their former players are now suffering? thats pretty stupid.

no Piazza kills me.

Will be a great event in cooperstown thats for sure. all 3 of those players are awesome

@ J. Welf - It's ironic that you're so against LaRussa and Torre b/c they managed players who were on PEDs, yet you're so supportive of Mike Piazza, a player with TONS of rumors + speculation that he was juiced for his entire career.

@Sean: you're going to keep Piazza out of the Hall because of "rumors + speculation"? Seriously?

IMO, the whole voting process is so broken at this point that it's less about "who gets in" than about what stupid and trivial reasons writers can find to not vote for certain players (then write about it). Blow up the whole voting process and start over. A hundred names picked at random from the Cooperstown phone book would probably do a better job than the people currently voting.

I'm stoked about Maddux going in. With the exception of last year, it's been good to be a Cubs fan for the last few years of induction weekends. :-)

Frequent performer in Albany and Cubs fan, Chris Thile, has a song about Maddux called Movement and Location. I'll be interested to see if they use it during his retrospective.

@Mike Jones: If I'm going to keep Barry Bonds out the HoF for rumors + speculation, then I'm sure as hell going to keep Piazza out. Seriously.

And yes, the voting process is broken and needs to be modernized.

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