On Tuesday afternoon, a handful of former MLB players’ lives may change forever. 

When the 2015 MLB Hall of Fame voting results are announced on Tuesday, Jan. 6, at 2 p.m. ET, a lucky few will go from great players to legends. From “I remember that guy” to, “I’ll never forget that guy.” From star to Hall of Famer. 

For the uninitiated, there are 34 players on the ballot, including 17 from years previous and 17 newcomers. Voters can choose up to 10 players. It takes 75 percent of the vote to be elected into the Hall and at least 5 percent to stay on the ballot for next year. 

Here’s a look at everything else you need to know.


Voting Results Announcement: Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network



According to Baseball Think Factory, 148 full ballots have already been made public (thank you, Internet). That is approximately 25.9 percent of the vote. While it’s not a perfect sample size, a quarter of the ballots will provide a very good indication of what the 2015 class will look like. 

And if that indeed turns out to be accurate, we’re in line for a historically large class, as Randy Johnson (99.3 percent), Pedro Martinez (98.0), John Smoltz (87.1), Craig Biggio (82.4) and Mike Piazza (77.0) are all currently above the necessary threshold. 

Per BaseballHall.org, five inductees would tie the record set by the inaugural 1936 class, which featured a decent quintet of names: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner. 

Johnson and Martinez are going to be the headliners. 

The Big Unit, known for his intimidating 6’10” frame, blazing fastball and devastating slider, finished his career with 303 wins, five Cy Young Awards and 4,875 strikeouts, which is second all-time behind Nolan Ryan. There’s a good chance he still haunts the dreams of any left-handed hitter who faced him during his 22-year career. 

In addition to his rare physical traits, he was undeniably competitive.

“We knew that every fifth day, we were going to get one of the most competitive efforts in the history of the game,” said former manager Bob Brenly, according to The Associated Press’ Bob Baum (via The Seattle Times). “He pitched every game like it was the most important of his life.”

Martinez, who stood about a foot shorter, wasn’t around as long as Johnson, but his highs were the stuff of legend. In the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Pedro went a combined 41-10 with a 1.90 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 597 strikeouts, 69 walks and an ERA+ of 265, per Baseball-Reference.com

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona discussed Martinez’s greatness, via the Boston Herald‘s Scott Lauber.

He didn’t have one great pitch. He had four. I think if he wanted to have a fifth or sixth he probably could have. He had that ability. I think ‘electric’ is probably the best word I could come up with.

John Smoltz’s resume looks different than most thanks to splitting time as a starter and a reliever. But it doesn’t appear as though he’ll have much trouble getting in on his first ballot. 

Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza, who came up just short on last year’s ballot (Biggio especially at 74.8 percent), are also looking good on the early returns. 

Players just below the cut line include Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell (66.4 percent of the early votes each). Raines is arguably the second-best leadoff hitter of all-time while Bagwell is a career .297 hitter with 449 home runs and an MVP award. 

The Houston Astros attempted to make the case for their former player:

Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are a few more players who will likely come up short and stir up a debate or 100. 

But either way, with two of the most overpowering, dominant pitchers of all-time at the top and a potentially record number of inductees, this class looks to be one for the ages. 

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