Later today the National Baseball Hall of Fame announces its class of 2017.

Individuals were selected in a vote last month by the eligible members of the Baseball Writer's Association of America. As many as six candidates could be elected.

It looks like Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell will be on the list.

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez is up for the first time and, in my opinion, should be an automatic. He was arguably the best catcher of his era with 13 Gold Glove awards and seven Silver Slugger awards. He was a 14-time All-Star during his 21-year career. Rodriguez was the 1999 American League MVP.

Johnny Bench is the only catcher to ever be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Hall of Fame Manager Joe Torre called Rodriguez "the greatest catcher I ever saw." That's saying something. Torre played during the Bench era.

Vladimir Guerrero is also up for the first time. I think he belongs in the Hall, but I'm not so sure about on the first attempt.

All candidates get 10 years of eligibility as long as they don't fall below 5 percent. Candidates need 75 percent of the votes cast to be inducted.

It's the final time for Raines to make the Baseball Hall of Fame before he goes into the Veterans Committee choices, and I don't understand why it's taken this long frankly.

He was one of the top stolen base leaders in Major League history and was a dynamite leadoff hitter for the Montreal Expos when he started and played with six teams including the Yankees during the 1996 and 1998 World Series winning teams.

Raines says he will go in with an Expo cap if selected.

The results of the 73rd Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame election will be revealed at 5PM on the MLB Network and simulcast live on beginning at 4PM.

Jeff Bagwell played his entire career with the Houston Astros and missed by 15 votes last year. He amassed 449 career homers and a .297 lifetime batting average. I think those numbers speak to his Hall of Fame worthiness.

Each writer gets to vote for up to 10 players. had 14 of their contributing writers cast ballots and did a total votes for players among their writers. The top 5 were Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman and a tie between Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Target Field- Minneapolis photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Target Field- Minneapolis photo by Gordy Kosfeld


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