Last night, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza would be inducted this summer as the Class of 2016.
Griffey set a new record, appearing on 437 of the 440 ballots cast. (The old record was held by Tom Seaver – our first Mets representative in Cooperstown – who received 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992.)
It took four years, but Piazza finally crossed the 75 percent threshold in this year’s election. And while I can’t figure out how a man who’s been retired from baseball since 2007 managed to do anything that “made him a Hall of Famer” since the last election, I’d rather celebrate the voters getting something right.
Happy New Year! Let’s try to make 2013 a good one, ok?
Baseball reporter Mel Antonen says that potential Hall of Famer Tim Raines has been hired by the Toronto Blue Jays as an outfield and base-running coach. Antonen didn’t offer any details, so this could be a major league or minor league assignment… it could possibly even be a part-time spring training instructor gig.
For what it’s worth, the Newark Bears website still lists Raines as the team’s director of player development. (Update – January 2nd: The Bears confirmed that Raines is leaving their organization.)
Yesterday was the last day for voters to submit their Baseball Hall of Fame ballots; the results will be announced on Wednesday, January 9th. Last year, Raines received 279 votes (48.7%), up from 218 (37.5%) in 2011, 164 (30.4%) in 2010, and 122 (22.6%) in 2009, his first year on the ballot.
Do you think Tim Raines will be elected to the Hall of Fame this year?
To celebrate their 10th season in 2008, the Somerset Patriots gave away a series of baseball cards highlighting some memorable moments in their ballpark’s 10 year history.
There were five differed strips, each with four cards that were part of the set plus an advertising card for the business that sponsored that particular giveaway. The set was not sold in the team store or online, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find one today.
In addition to cards of fan favorites like Jeff Nettles, Billy Hall and Brian Adams, the set includes what I believe is Tim Raines‘ only Atlantic League baseball card. (Raines played in eight games for the 2000 Patriots team to showcase his skills with the hopes of making the U.S. Olympic team; he was not selected.) There are also cards for two notable non-baseball celebrities: singer Jessica Simpson, who performed a concert at what was then known as Commerce Bank Park in 2004, and Donald Trump, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game in 2004.
Tim Raines will remain with the Bears as the team’s Director of Player Development. “Raines is committed to the Bears and is excited about these new changes within the organization,” according to a press release sent out by the Newark Bears this morning.
Oberkfell and new pitching coach Ralph Citarella will be formally introduced at a press conference prior to the Newark Bears Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball charity event on Saturday.
Well, we’re 22 days from the official start of spring training for the New York Mets (and seven days from the football game that people actually care about.) The first 2012 Topps baseball cards will make their appearance in stores this week.
And a few major league teams held fanfest events this weekend. (Sometimes I wonder why New York sports teams developed this mentality of expecting fans to shower them with money just because they exist.)