The third time was charmed. Trevor Hoffman has been hurled into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
The legendary San Diego Padres closer, who retired in 2010 after two years with the Milwaukee Brewers, was elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America in a vote announced Wednesday.
In his third year of eligibility, the right-hander who strode to the mound with AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” as his signature music received 79.9 percent of the votes cast by members of the BWAA.
Also elected were Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome, who will be formally inducted July 29 in Cooperstown, New York. Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were elected last month by the Modern Baseball Era Committee.
A year ago, Hoffman was fourth of the ballot, but missed being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, by five votes.
Hoffman, 50, played 16 of his 18 major league seasons in San Diego and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Padres of all time. The relief pitcher’s resume boasts a 2.87 earned-run average and 601 saves.
“On behalf of the entire Padres family, we would like to send our heartfelt congratulations to Trevor Hoffman and the Class of 2018 on being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler said in a joint statement.
“Since 1993, when he first donned a Padres uniform, Trevor has represented our organization and the city of San Diego with an incredible sense of class and dignity. Not only is Trevor the all-time National League saves leader, he is an even better human being, and we are thrilled that he will be enshrined in Cooperstown as a Padre next to the greatest players in the history of baseball.”
Hoffman, who lives in San Diego, finished his career in 2010 with the Milwaukee Brewers. When he retired, he was the all-time saves leaders, but his record was later broken by New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Last year, Hoffman was just five votes shy of the 75 percent threshold necessary to win a spot in Cooperstown. This year he received 79.9 percent.
Hoffman was twice named National League Player of the Year and was a seven-time All-Star.
“Unless something goes horribly wrong, it looks like he’ll be heading to Cooperstown this summer,” predicted fan site Gaslamp Ball before the announcement. “According to the latest numbers from Ryan Thibodaux, who has been compiling and tracking all publicly available ballots, Hoffman has a solid 79 percent of the votes.”
Former San Diego Union sportswriter Barry Bloom, now contributing to mlb.com, wrote in November that earlier in 2017, the National League record-holder for saves brought video crews to his house for the call. It never came.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) January 24, 2018
In November, Hoffman told MLB.com: “We don’t have big plans. I think that goes back to tempering of attitudes. We did it with the Pads earlier this year with the cameras there, and then you’re looking at the clock, watching the time slipping away. The hurt all goes away, but there’s still scar tissue.
“I figure that I might as well not worry about it, and if I get the call, I get the call. I’m not really worried about documenting it. We’ll see. We’ll see what we plan out.”
For years, relief pitchers were largely ignored by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, with former Padre Rollie Fingers among the exceptions. Former Cub and Cardinal Bruce Sutter in 2006 became the first inductee as a pitcher who never started a game on the mound.
Reactions from around the horn:
Trevor is in. I am relieved.
— Nick Canepa (@sdutCanepa) January 24, 2018
Trevor Hoffman will speak at 4:30. There is standing room to the left of this set-up that is open to the public, if any fans wish to come down. pic.twitter.com/2C3yt9OAtD
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) January 24, 2018
Former Wildcat Trevor Hoffman gets the call. Cooperstown bound. pic.twitter.com/AfvKaUv6yB
— Damien Alameda (@DAlamedaKOLD) January 24, 2018
601 saves. Yeah, he could slam that door.
— MLB (@MLB) January 24, 2018
It’s Trevor’s Time!
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) January 24, 2018
Not many players have repped their teams & their cities with more class on & off the field than the great Trevor Hoffman- and now he's on his way to the HOF.
— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) January 24, 2018
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) January 24, 2018
Congratulations to #51! Trevor Hoffman, always a Hall of Fame guy, but now it’s official. A Hall of Famer who will forever be enshrined in Cooperstown! A class guy, now in a class of greats! ⚾️
— Mark Grant (@Mudcat55) January 24, 2018
— Tony Gwynn Jr. (@tonygwynnjr) January 24, 2018
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