Cooperstown, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
This marks the first time in 60 years that as many as four players were elected and the first time in history that three pitchers were honored in the same election. The Baseball Writers' Association of America last elected four candidates in 1955, when Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Dazzy Vance earned election.
Johnson led the group by being named on 97.3 percent of the 549 ballots cast, while Martinez was on 91.1 percent and Smoltz garnered 82.9 percent of the vote. The trio were appearing on the ballot for the first time. Biggio, who was appearing on the ballot for a third time and fell two votes shy a year ago, was on 82.7 percent of the ballots. Seventy-five percent of the vote is needed for induction.
They will be inducted July 26 as part of the Hall's Induction Weekend July 24-27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Johnson pitched 22 seasons for the Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Giants, posting three 20-win seasons (1997, 2001-02) and winning five Cy Young Awards.
The hard-throwing left-hander ended his career with a 303-166 mark and a 3.29 ERA, finishing in the top 10 of his league's Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1995 (6th) and 2002 (7th) and was named to 10 All-Star Games, starting four times.
Known as a strikeout pitcher, Johnson led his league in strikeouts nine times (1992-95, 1999-2002, 2004) and is second on the all-time strikeout list with 4,875.
Martinez played 18 seasons for the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies, going 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. He had two 20-win seasons (1999, 2002) and captured three Cy Young Awards (1997, 1999-2000).
An eight-time All-Star, the right-hander finished in the top 10 of his league's Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1999 (2nd) and 2000 (5th). He won 1999 American League Pitching Triple Crown after leading the league in wins (23), earned run average (2.07) and strikeouts (313).
Smoltz made a name for himself as a starter and closer, pitching 21 seasons for the Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals. He had a career record of 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA with 154 saves. He won the 1996 National League Cy Young Award and was named to eight All-Star Games.
As a reliever, the right-hander topped the 40-save mark three times (2002-04), the only three full seasons he served as his team's closer. His 3,084 strikeouts rank 16th all-time.
Smoltz appeared in 25 postseason series over 14 seasons with the Braves and Cardinals, posting a 15-4 record with four saves and a 2.67 ERA in 41 appearances (27 starts).
Biggio was a seven-time All-Star, collecting 3,060 hits during a 20-year career with the Houston Astros. Known for his ability to play multiple positions, he appeared in 428 games as a catcher, 363 as an outfielder and 1,989 at second base. He had 291 career homers, 1,175 RBI, 1,844 runs scored and a .281 batting average. He is the only player in baseball history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs.
The player closest to election was Mike Piazza, who was on 69.9 percent of the ballots. That is an increase from the 62.2 percent of the ballots he appeared on a year ago. Jeff Bagwell (55.7 %) and Tim Raines (55 %) were the next two players to not receive the nod.
The others receiving votes who will remain on the ballot are: Curt Schilling (39.2%), Roger Clemens (37.5%), Barry Bonds (36.8%), Lee Smith (30.2%), Edgar Martinez (27.0%), Alan Trammell (25.1%), Mike Mussina (24.6%), Jeff Kent (14.0%), Fred McGriff (12.9%), Larry Walker (11.8%), Gary Sheffield (11.7%), Mark McGwire (10.0%), Sammy Sosa (6.6%) and Nomar Garciaparra (5.5%).
Don Mattingly was appearing on the ballot for the final time and received 50 votes.
Coming off the ballot next year because they didn't receive five percent of the vote are Carlos Delgado (3.8%), Troy Percival (0.7%), Aaron Boone (0.4%), Tom Gordon (0.4%), Darin Erstad (0.2%), Rich Aurilia, Tony Clark, Jermaine Dye, Cliff Floyd, Brian Giles, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt (0.0%).