The next class of baseball hall of famers will be announced today, with three pitchers as the leading candidates for enshrinement.
Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, all in their first year of eligibility, appear likely to earn induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Holdover candidates Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza could also gain entry into the Hall of Fame.
Voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America decide on baseball’s hall of famers. Anyone earning 75 percent of the vote gains enshrinement.
The vote results will be revealed at 2 p.m. ET.
Here’s a look at this year’s most likely candidates to enter baseball immortality.
Randy JohnsonMLB Career: 1988-2009
Teams: Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants
Talent: Intimidation. “The Big Unit” towered over opposing hitters at 6-foot-10 and owned a grimacing scowl to match.
Numbers: Johnson struck out 4,875 career batters, second all-time to Nolan Ryan.
Notable: An avid photographer with focuses on rock concerts, motorsports and scenic shots.
Pedro MartinezMLB Career: 1992-2009
Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies
Talent: Control. Martinez struck out 3,154 batters during his career against 760 walks.
Numbers: His 1999 season was one for the ages: a 23-4 record, with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts.
Notable: Had a famous run-in in 2003 with Yankees coach Don Zimmer, who was then 72 years old.
John SmoltzMLB Career: 1988-2009
Teams: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals
Talent: Versatility. Midway through his career, Smoltz transitioned from starting to relief pitching – and led the league in saves.
Numbers: “Smoltzie” won 24 games in 1996, earning the Cy Young Award as the National League’s top pitcher.
Notable: An avid golfer, Smoltz counts Tiger Woods as one of his friends.
Craig BiggioMLB Career: 1988-2007
Position: Catcher, Second Baseman and Outfielder
Teams: Houston Astros
Talent: Scrappiness. Biggio is the modern baseball leader in hit by pitches, with 285 – including 34 in 1997.
Numbers: He compiled 3,060 career hits, more than all but 20 players in MLB history.
Notable: With Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, formed one of baseball’s great teammate tandems.
Mike PiazzaMLB Career: 1992-2007
Position: Catcher and First Baseman
Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics
Talent: Power. Piazza holds the record for career home runs by a catcher, with 396.
Numbers: He was chosen in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB Draft, the 1,390th player of 1,395 selected.
Notable: During childhood, he served as a Dodgers batboy when the team visited Philadelphia.