One Long Island native is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Another New York legend just missed out -- again.
Longtime Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, a Smithtown native who went to Kings Park High School, was elected to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday with 82.7 percent of the vote, one year after he fell shy by just two votes. Mets star Mike Piazza fell shy of election at 69.9 percent. Both players were in their third year on the ballot.
Pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz all were easily elected on one of the most loaded Hall of Fame ballots in recent years. Each was in their first year of eligibility. Johnson received 97.3 percent of the vote, Martinez received 91.1 percent and Smoltz got 82.9 percent. Mets legend Tom Seaver holds the Hall record with 98.84 percent of the vote.
Players must appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast by voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to be elected to Cooperstown. Players can remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least five percent of the vote.
Other notables on this year’s ballot included:
Jeff Bagwell (55.7 percent)
Tim Raines (55 percent)
Curt Schilling (39.2 percent)
Roger Clemens (37.5 percent)
Barry Bonds (36.8 percent)
Lee Smith (30.2 percent)
Edgar Martinez (27 percent)
Alan Trammell (25.1 percent)
Mike Mussina (24.6 percent)
Jeff Kent (14 percent)
Fred McGriff (12.9 percent)
Larry Walker (11.8 percent)
Gary Sheffield (11.7 percent)
Mark McGwire (10 percent)
Sammy Sosa (6.6 percent)
Nomar Garciaparra (5.5 percent)
Ex-Met Carlos Delgado (3.8 percent) and 11 others did not receive the five percent of the vote necessary to remain on the ballot for next year. Former Yankees star Don Mattingly received 9.1 percent of the vote in his 15th and final season on the ballot.
Biggio was a seven-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger and four-time Gold Glove winner. He batted .281 with a .363 on-base percentage in 20 seasons with the Astros, leading the National League in doubles three times, runs scored twice and stolen bases once. Biggio spent most of his time at second base, but saw significant time at catcher and center field, too. Biggio received 74.8 percent of the vote in 2014.
Johnson, the intimidating 6-10 southpaw nicknamed "Big Unit", was a five-time Cy Young Award winner, 10-time All-Star and co-MVP of the 2001 World Series. He went 303-166 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 4,875 strikeouts in 22 seasons with the Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Giants. He led MLB in strikeouts eight times, innings pitched and complete games twice and wins once. Johnson led the NL in ERA in 1999, 2001 and 2002, pitched a no-hitter and a perfect game and his career 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings is the best in MLB history, among qualified pitchers. The Diamondbacks traded Johnson to the Yankees before the 2005 season, and Johnson went 34-19 with a 4.37 ERA during two seasons in the Bronx before he was traded back to Arizona.
Martinez won three Cy Young awards, was an eight-time All-Star and helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years. He led MLB in ERA and WHIP five times, winning percentage three times and led the AL in strikeouts three times. Martinez was 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 3,154 strikeouts in 18 seasons with the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies. He went 32-23 with a 3.88 ERA in four seasons with the Mets, helping turn the franchise into a desirable free-agent destination following several seasons of irrelevance.
Smoltz drew acclaim as both a starter and closer, but is perhaps best remembered as a postseason ace. He was 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA and four saves in 41 postseason games (27 starts), was MVP in the 1992 NLCS and won the 1995 World Series with the Braves. Pitching alongside fellow Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine in Atlanta for much of his career, Smoltz helped form one of the most reliably dominant trios in modern pitching history. The eight-time All-Star and 1996 NL Cy Young Award winner went 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA, 3,084 strikeouts and 154 saves in 21 seasons with the Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals. He led the NL in wins, innings and strikeouts twice and led MLB with 55 saves in 2002.
Piazza, meanwhile, will have to remember a refrain all-too-familiar to Mets fans: Wait 'til next year.
Piazza helped transform the Mets into contenders when he was traded from the Marlins on May 22, 1998. The NL Rookie of the Year in 1993 with the Dodgers, Piazza was a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger who batted .308 with a .377 OBP and 427 home runs in 16 seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and A's. His 396 home runs as a catcher are the most in MLB history. Piazza batted .296 with a .373 OBP and 220 home runs in eight seasons for the Mets, leading New York to an NL Pennant in 2000.
Not too shabby for a guy drafted in the 62nd round. He received 62.2 percent of the vote in 2014, but has been dogged by suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use despite never publicly testing positive for a banned substance.