It’s the time of year when the Hall of Fame ballots are released and a new crop of players have a chance to be inducted.
A former Los Angeles Dodger player, Greg Maddux, and a former manager, Joe Torre, were inducted in 2014, although not with the Dodger cap on their plaque. Maury Wills and Gil Hodges await their fate with the Golden Era ballot that will be voted on in December. Wills has been very emotional when discussing the possibility of making the prestigious club.
This year, there are plenty of former Dodger players and current Dodger coaches on the ballot. Several of the names are repeats, including former catcher Mike Piazza, outfielder Gary Sheffield, second baseman Jeff Kent and first baseman Fred McGriff. Current Dodger manager Don Mattingly is also on the ballot, along with current hitting coach Mark McGwire.
Some of the names on the ballot for the first-time include Nomar Garciaparra, who spent three years in Los Angeles, and starting pitcher Pedro Martinez, who was famously traded away before becoming one of the most dominant starting pitchers of his era. Former Dodger pitcher Jason Schmidt is on for the first time as well.
While none of the candidates are likely to enter with a Dodger cap on their plaque, at least two of the names could consider it. Piazza was a 62nd round pick by the Dodgers in 1988 that went on to become a Rookie of the Year in 1993. He was a six-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger with the Dodgers. Sheffield spent just four years in Los Angeles, but it was a strong four seasons. He hit .312 with 129 home runs and 367 RBIs in 526 games.
It will be interesting to see how many of these players make it in, as Piazza, Martinez and Garciaparra have the best chances.