Clemens rises, other ex-Astros need bigger push

Clemens rises, other ex-Astros need bigger push

HOUSTON -- Jeff Bagwell will become the second player to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame wearing an Astros cap on his plaque -- joining longtime teammate Craig Biggio, who was inducted in 2015 -- but another one of their former teammates is making a push.

Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, who played with the Astros from 2004-06, appeared on 54.1 percent of the ballots in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America released Wednesday. Only Bagwell (86.2 percent), Tim Raines (86 percent) and Ivan Rodriguez (76 percent) surpassed the 75 percent needed for induction this year.

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 »

Clemens, in his fifth of 10 years on the ballot, saw a significant jump in support from the 45.2 percent he received last year. He won 354 games and struck out 4,672 hitters in 24 seasons, going 38-18 with a 2.40 ERA in 84 starts for Houston.

Meanwhile, former Astros pitcher Curt Schilling, whose glory years came after he left Houston, appeared on 45 percent of the ballots, which was a significant drop from the 52.3 percent he appeared on last year.

Schilling appeared in 56 games in relief for the Astros in 1991 before turning into a star with the Phillies, D-backs and Red Sox later in his career. He won 216 career games, not including an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in 19 starts in the playoffs.

Former National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Jeff Kent, who played with the Astros from 2003-04, saw a slight bump in support to 16.7 percent this year from 16.6 percent last year. In his fourth year on the ballot, Kent still appears to be a longshot to get inducted in his remaining six years.

Kent is a career .290 hitter with 377 homers -- the most by a second baseman in history -- and 1,518 RBIs.

Billy Wagner, who holds the Astros' all-time record for saves with 225 from 1995-2003, received only 45 votes, garnering 10.2 percent. That's a slight drop from the 10.5 percent he received in his first year on the ballot in 2016. Wagner has eight years left on the ballot, but would need a huge surge in support to have a shot.

Wagner's 422 saves rank sixth all-time, second most by a lefty behind another former Astros pitcher, John Franco (424).

In addition to Bagwell, Biggio and Rodriguez (2009 with Astros), seven other players are in the Hall of Fame who spent time with the Astros: Randy Johnson (1998), Don Sutton (1981-82), Nolan Ryan (1980-88), Robin Roberts (1965-66), Joe Morgan (1963-71, '80), Eddie Mathews (1967) and Nellie Fox (1964-65).

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.