The 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been unveiled, with three former Knoxville Blue Jays among those up for election. Infielders Jeff Kent and Fred McGriff are on the ballot for the second and sixth time, respectively, while infielder Carlos Delgado appears on the ticket for the first time.
Delgado was named the Southern League’s Most Valuable Player in 1993 after batting .303 (142-468) with 25 homers and 102 RBI in 140 contests with the K-Jays that season. He would go on to be promoted by the Toronto Blue Jays as a September call-up. One of the most prolific hitters in Blue Jays history, the left-handed slugger owns club records in home runs (336), RBI (1,058), walks (827), slugging percentage (.556), OPS (.949), runs scored (889), total bases (2,786), doubles (343), extra-base hits (690), hit by pitches (122) and intentional walks (128). Over his 17-year career, Delgado hit .280 with 2,038 hits, 1,241 runs scored, 473 homers and 1,512 RBI with the Blue Jays, Florida Marlins and New York Mets.
Kent, who last year received 15% of the baseball writers’ votes, played for the K-Jays in 1991, compiling a .256 batting average (114-445) with 68 runs, 34 doubles, 12 homers and 61 RBI in 139 games. He would go on to play in the Major Leagues the very next season, making his Major League debut with Toronto before being dealt to the New York Mets. He would go on to play for the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, ultimately tallying a .290 career batting average, along with 2,461 hits, 1,320 runs, 560 doubles, 377 homers and 1,518 RBI. Kent won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award in 2000 and is considered one of the best offensive second baseman of all-time.
McGriff last year received a 11.7% vote percentage and looks to improve on that this year. The left-handed hitter participated in 56 games with the Knoxville Blue Jays in 1984, batting .249 (47-189) with nine homers and 25 RBI before a promotion to Triple-A Syracuse. “Crime Dog” over his 19-year career played for the Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers and hit .284 with 2,490 hits, 1,349 runs scored, 441 doubles, 493 homers and 1,550 RBI. Many believe McGriff would have more than 500 longballs if it were not for the 1994 strike-shortened season.
The trio hope to join Hoyt Wilhelm, Earl Weaver, Ryne Sandberg and Tony La Russa as members of the Smokies franchise to be inducted into Cooperstown.
The entire Hall of Fame ballot, along with information on each player, can be found by clicking here. Inductees are scheduled to be announced on January 6, 2015.