Reggie Jackson Endorses Clemens, Bonds for Hall of Fame

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Mr. October Endorses Clemens, Bonds for Hall of Fame

From the desk of Steve Griffith

The Vizion Group

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson says Hall of Fame voters should change their minds about two players who hold some of the best records in baseball history.

“Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be in,” Jackson said at this week’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. “It’s time.”

Clemens is one of 49 celebrities in the field at the professional golf tournament, which is the LPGA’s official 2019 season opener with 49 celebrities in a first-ever format live on NBC Saturday and Sunday.

The Baseball Writers Association of America will announce results of its 2019 Hall vote on Tuesday. At least 75 percent of the vote is needed for induction. Last year, Clemens received 57.3 percent and Barry Bonds 56.4.

Hall of Famer Jackson was part of an informal poll of prominent baseball figures that identified former Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera and ex-Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez as clear choices for the Hall.

Rivera was a unanimous choice and Martinez was named by all but one from a panel that also included Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Ivan Rodriguez as well as Derek Lowe, John Hart, John Lackey, Mark Mulder and A.J. Pierzynski.

Late pitcher Roy Halladay, who died in an aircraft accident in 2017, received support from a majority of the panel and pitcher Mike Mussina was named by about half. Rivera and Halladay are on the ballot for the first time.

The BBWAA has elected at least two Hall of Fame candidates in five straight years and a record five-year total of 16 during that time.

Smoltz, Hall of Fame pitcher turned television baseball analyst, said Rivera could receive an unprecedented 100 percent of the vote and probably will get the highest percentage ever. Ken Griffey Jr. received a record 99.32 percent of the vote in 2016, being named on 437 of 440 ballots.

“How could he not (receive a record percentage)?” two-time all-star pitcher Mulder said. “If you are a writer, what would your case against him be? You’d have to have never watched baseball to vote against him.”

Martinez, in his 10th year on the ballot, is the ballot’s leading returnee. Last year he received 70.4 percent of the vote, followed by Mussina at 63.5 percent.

“Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer,” Mulder said. “He was one of the last guys I ever wanted to face in a big situation, and that goes for a lot of other pitchers in this game.”

As of Wednesday night, Bonds and Clemens both had made huge strides in the vote, but projected to come up short of the 75 percent vote from veteran members of the BBWAA needed for induction. @NotMrTibbs tracks ballots that have been made public, and his most recent results include 182 ballots of what he projects will be 412 ballots cast.

LEADERS ON THE 182 PUBLIC BALLOTS THROUGH WENDESDAY:

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