In the previous three years, six players with Oriole connections have been elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s possible that another with Oriole tied could be elected in 2020.
Curt Schilling, who recorded the first of his 216 major league wins with the Orioles in 1990, is a leading contender for election in the 32-candidate ballot released today by the Hall of Fame.
Voting by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ends on December 31, and Schilling, a controversial candidate because of his outspoken political views, received 60.9 percent of the vote last year, and he’s the top returning candidate. Seventy-five percent is necessary for election.
Longtime Orioles tormentor Derek Jeter is a sure thing for election in his first time on the ballot.
Schilling, who was traded to the Houston Astros along with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis in January 1991 in one of the worst trades in Orioles history, is in his eighth year of eligibility.
Sammy Sosa, who played for the Orioles in 2005, is also on the ballot for his eighth year. Sosa, who like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have been tied by PED allegations, received 8.5 percent of the vote a year ago. Bonds (59.1 percent) and Clemens (59.5) are also on the ballot for the eighth time.
Joining Jeter on the ballot is longtime Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who retired after the 2014 season.
Roberts, who joined the Orioles’ Hall of Fame in 2018, twice led the American League in doubles and stole a league-best 50 bases in 2007.
His best year came in 2005 when he hit .314 with a .903 OPS. He had 18 home runs and 73 RBIs.
In his 14-year career, Roberts hit .276. He played his first 13 seasons with the Orioles and signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent for the 2014 season but was released on August 9.
During his final four seasons with the Orioles, concussions and hip surgery limited Roberts to 192 games.
Roberts, who lives in Sarasota, Florida, has appeared on MASN telecasts and 105.7 radio broadcasts of Orioles games in recent years.
Two other former Orioles, Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders, played the requisite 10 seasons in the majors but were not added to the Hall of Fame ballot by the screening committee.
Dwight Evans, who played for the Orioles in 1991, could be elected to the Hall by a Modern Baseball era committee at the Winter Meetings in San Diego on December 8.
Former Oriole Harold Baines and Lee Smith were elected last year by the Today’s Baseball era committee. Mike Mussina was elected by the BBWAA in January.
Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome were elected by the BBWAA in 2018. Tim Raines was elected in 2017. Guerrero and Thome ended their careers with the Orioles. Raines played briefly with his son, Tim Jr., in 2001.
The results of the BBWAA voting will be announced on January 21.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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