Hoffman narrowly misses Hall election

Former Brewers closer five votes shy of 75 percent; Sheffield at 13.3 percent

Hoffman narrowly misses Hall election

MILWAUKEE -- The Miller Park faithful will have to wait at least one more year to see the next former Brewers player enshrined in Cooperstown.

Trevor Hoffman, the prolific closer who finished his career in Milwaukee and became the first man to reach 600 saves, was denied enshrinement in the Hall of Fame on Wednesday by one of the slimmest margins in history. In his second year of eligibility, Hoffman received 327 votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, five shy of the 332 he needed to reach the 75 percent threshold.

Complete Hall of Fame coverage

"I first want to send a very heartfelt congratulations to Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines & Ivan Rodriguez," Hoffman said on Twitter. "All three men exemplify what it means to be a Hall of Famer in our game. For me, falling short of this class is disappointing, but I don't take being on the ballot lightly. I'm grateful for every vote and I'm truly humbled to have come so close."

2017 Hall of Fame election results
Votes Player Percentage
381 Jeff Bagwell 86.2%
380 Tim Raines 86.0%
336 Ivan Rodriguez 76.0%
327 Trevor Hoffman 74.0%
317 Vladimir Guerrero 71.7%
259 Edgar Martinez 58.6%
239 Roger Clemens 54.1%
238 Barry Bonds 53.8%
229 Mike Mussina 51.8%
199 Curt Schilling 45.0%
Complete voting results »

Another former Brewer, Gary Sheffield, received 59 votes (13.3 percent) in his third year on the ballot. Mike Cameron, who played for the Brewers in 2008-09, and Matt Stairs (2002) did not receive any votes and fell off the ballot.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez did garner the votes necessary and will be honored at a July 30 ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., alongside former Brewers owner and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and former Braves executive John Schuerholz, each of whom were elected to the Hall of Fame in December by the Today's Game Era committee.

Former Commissioner Selig elected to HOF

For player balloting, there were 442 ballots, including two blanks, submitted by qualified senior members of the BBWAA, writers with 10 or more consecutive years of service. Hoffman tied pitcher Bert Blyleven in 2010 in missing election by the sixth slimmest margin. Pie Traynor in 1947, Nellie Fox in 1985 and Craig Biggio in 2014 share the record of the slimmest margin with two votes apiece. Falling four votes shy were Billy Williams in 1986 and Jim Bunning in 1988.

The good news for Hoffman is that all of those players eventually found their way to Cooperstown. Traynor, Biggio, Williams and Blyleven were each elected the following year. Fox and Bunning were subsequently elected by veterans committees.

Both Hoffman and Sheffield enjoyed an uptick from last year's results, when Hoffman received 67.3 percent of the vote, and Sheffield 11.6 percent.

Only five former Brewers players are in the Hall of Fame: Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Don Sutton and Robin Yount. Hoffman still has a chance to become the sixth; he has eight more years of ballot eligibility.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.