Hoffman seeks Hall of Fame push

Hoffman seeks Hall of Fame push

SAN DIEGO -- If historical trends are to be believed, it's a matter of "when" and not "if" Trevor Hoffman will be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The legendary Padres closer received 67.3 percent of the vote when his name appeared on the ballot for the first time a year ago -- just shy of the 75 percent threshold needed for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Hall of Fame coverage

But with Monday's unveiling of the 2017 ballot, Hoffman isn't holding his breath. It wouldn't do him any good, anyway.

"There really isn't anything else I can do, not at this point in time," Hoffman told MLB.com. "Everything's been done in the career. I don't want to sound selfish, like it's not cool to see guys get that call. But it might take another couple years. We just don't know."

Monday's ballot also features former Padres Fred McGriff, Gary Sheffield and Mike Cameron. McGriff is in his eighth year on the ballot and received 20.9 percent of the vote in 2016. Sheffield received 11.6 percent of the vote last year, his third as a candidate. Cameron, meanwhile, is on the ballot for the first time.

Hoffman's career statistics

A player remains on the ballot if he receives at least five percent of the vote, and he is eligible for up to 10 years. As it stands, the voting trends favor Hoffman, who will be going through the process for the second time, after retiring in 2010.

Hoffman delivers the game ball

Every player to receive at least 50 percent of the vote in his first time on the ballot was eventually enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Since 2000, eight players have received 67.3 percent or higher without hitting 75. Seven of those eight players made the Hall of Fame the following year, with Jack Morris as the lone exception.

"Nothing really changes [from last year] as far as the hopes and the desires, but you know that your threshold is closer," Hoffman said. "Sixty-seven percent was a great number for me, coming out, in my eyes. Can I get another 34 votes, which is basically what it takes to get to 75 percent? I'm not sure. I hope it trends in the right direction."

Hoffman faces a bit of a hurdle this year, with Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines -- who received a larger portion of the vote than Hoffman -- also returning to the ballot. It's also the first year for Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero and Jorge Posada. Writers can cast votes for at most 10 players, and the '17 edition appears to be quite crowded.

2017 HOF candidates

But Hoffman's case is crystal clear. In 18 big league seasons -- 16 with San Diego -- Hoffman racked up 601 saves, second most all-time. Among relievers with at least 1,000 innings, Hoffman ranks second in save percentage (88.8), eighth in ERA (2.87), fourth in ERA+ (141), second in opponents' batting-average (.211), second in WHIP (1.06) and first in strikeout rate (25.8).

For more than two-thirds of voters last year, those were Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. That percentage could very well jump in 2017.

"To me, it's not something I kind of have to have," Hoffman said. "If I'm around family, and it turns out the right way, and I get a call, I'm sure it will be fantastic."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.