Bagwell receives 56 percent of Hall of Fame votes, up significantly, but still not enough

Jeff Bagwell received 41.7 percent of the Hall of Fame votes last year, his first year on the ballot, so a nearly 15 percent increase this year, to 56 percent, is encouraging.

Many of you want Bagwell and Craig Biggio to go into the Hall together next year. I am guessing Biggio goes in on his first try, and if so, that means Bagwell will need to make an even bigger jump in 2013 — by 19 percent — in order to garner 75 percent of the votes needed to garner election to the Hall of Fame.

Here is the release from the Hall of Fame, including vote percentages for this year’s candidates:

(NEW YORK, NY) – Barry Larkin, a 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove winning shortstop, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in balloting verified by Ernst & Young.

Larkin, 47, will be inducted into the Hall July 22 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with the late third baseman Ron Santo, who was elected last month by the Golden Era Committee. Also to be honored over Induction Weekend will be Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing and television analyst Tim McCarver, the former major league catcher, with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting.

A total of 573 ballots, including nine blanks, were cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years’ service. Players must be named on 75 percent of ballots submitted to be elected. This year, 430 votes were required.

Larkin, who was in his third year of eligibility, received 495 votes, for an 86.4-percent plurality. His vote total reflected a 24.3-percent gain from the 2011 ballot, the largest jump in one year to gain election since 1948 when pitcher Herb Pennock received 77.7 percent of the vote after having tallied 53.4 percent in 1947. Larkin’s jump is the largest for any Hall of Fame election in which at least 400 ballots were cast. The previous highest was the 16.4-percent jump by first baseman Tony Perez from 1999 (60.8) to 2000 (77.2).

Larkin’s election brings to 297 the number of elected Hall members. Of that total, 207 are former major-league players, of which 112 have been through the BBWAA ballot. Larkin is the 24th shortstop elected to the Hall and the 11th by the BBWAA. He is also the 48th Hall of Famer who played his entire career with one club and the third to do so for the Cincinnati Reds, joining catcher Johnny Bench and 19th-century second baseman Bid McPhee.

A Cincinnati native, Larkin played 19 seasons for the Reds and batted .295 with 2,340 hits, including 441 doubles, 76 triples and 198 home runs. He drove in 960 runs, scored 1,329, stole 379 bases and had more walks (939) than strikeouts (817). Larkin became the first shortstop to join the 30-30 club when he had 33 home runs and 36 steals in 1996. He was voted the National League Most Valuable Player in 1995 by the BBWAA and hit .353 in the Reds’ World Series sweep of the Oakland Athletics in 1990.

The only players other than Larkin to gain more than 50 percent of the vote were pitcher Jack Morris with 382 votes (66.7%), first baseman Jeff Bagwell with 321 (56.0%) and reliever Lee Smith with 290 (50.6%).

Players may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in any year. There were 13 candidates who failed to make the cut this year (30 votes), including 12 of the 13 players who were on the ballot for the first time. The only first-year candidate who received sufficient support to remain was outfielder Bernie Williams with 55 votes (9.6%). Two-time American League MVP Juan Gonzalez got 23 votes (4.0%) and fell off the ballot in his second year of eligibility.

Other holdovers that will remain on the ballot in addition to Morris, Bagwell, Smith and Williams are first basemen Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Rafael Palmeiro; outfielders Tim Raines, Dale Murphy and Larry Walker; designated hitter-third baseman Edgar Martinez and shortstop Alan Trammell.

The vote:

Barry Larkin 495 (86.4%), Jack Morris 382 (66.7%), Jeff Bagwell 321 (56.0%), Lee Smith 290 (50.6%), Tim Raines 279 (48.7%), Edgar Martinez 209 (36.5%), Alan Trammell 211 (36.8%), Fred McGriff 137 (23.9%), Larry Walker 131 (22.9%), Mark McGwire 112 (19.5%), Don Mattingly 102 (17.8%), Dale Murphy 83 (14.5%), Rafael Palmeiro 72 (12.6%), Bernie Williams 55 (9.6%), Juan Gonzalez 23 (4.0%), Vinny Castilla 6 (1.0%), Tim Salmon 5 (0.9%), Bill Mueller 4 (0.7%), Brad Radke 2 (0.3%), Javy Lopez 1 (0.2%), Eric Young 1 (0.2%), Jeromy Burnitz 0, Brian Jordan 0, Terry Mulholland 0, Phil Nevin 0, Ruben Sierra 0, Tony Womack 0.

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