After months of speculation and projection, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that three players will be elected into Cooperstown this summer: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. Maddux, the four-time Cy Young Award winner, received 97.2 percent of the total vote, Glavine 91.9 percent and Thomas 83.7 percent.

For Atlanta Braves fans, this summer’s election will be particularly special, as former manager Bobby Cox, who was elected early this year by the Hall of Fame’s veteran’s committee, will also be enshrined in Cooperstown. Cox joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio‘s Inside Pitch to reflect on the news.

I don’t think this will ever happen again in [the] Hall of Fame. You know, having two pitchers and a manager go in at the same time is inconceivable and I’m very, very proud to be going in with those two guys. The reason I’m going in is mainly because of those two guys, of course John Smoltz too, who is going to be eligible here real soon and he’ll be in there. But going in with two of them is just mind boggling to be honest with you. Two great guys, two bright guys that can figure things out and they certainly deserve their place in the Hall of Fame.

“The Big Hurt” himself, Frank Thomas, talked about how honored he was to be elected to the Hall on First Pitch with Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth:

I didn’t sleep for the last 72 hours before last night […] but man am I happy at this point. I’m thrilled. I didn’t care what the vote was as long as it was over 75 percent. I’m truly thankful and grateful and just happy to be going to the Hall of Fame.

Current President of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Stan Kasten, was an executive with the Braves during the Madden and Glavine era and he joined Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on Power Alley to look back at what made them so dominant.

They weren’t what fans and other people like in terms of arm strength and lighting up the radar gun, but they were two of the most cerebral, intense competitors and a real, I think, role model for any pitcher who wants to develop itself. They were just smart about how they went about the game, they did it differently, they had different stuff and things that you like, but they were so determined, so intense and as I said so cerebral. You could sit on the bench, and for all those generations all the young pitchers would sit on the bench, next to one or both of them studying the game not just on the day they’re pitching, but more on the day they’re not pitching.

Of course, with the good news of Maddux, Glavine and Thomas came the disappointment of Craig Biggio missing the Hall by two votes. Many of the writers in the BBWAA blamed the Hall’s 10-player limit for leaving Biggio off their ballots, while some filed votes for guys like Jacque Jones and Armando Benitez, who clearly weren’t legitimate candidates. Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson was a guest of Inside Pitch, and was asked about these votes, and whether he plans to change the rules on the election process.

Quite frankly it’s hard to tell someone how they have to vote, to tell them what their value judgement should be. If a guy is on the ballot, then he should be able to be voted for whether or not you think he’s a Hall of Famer or I do. I think if you’re going to have a ballot, if you’re going to allow people to vote, then that’s fine. If people are voting for guys for the wrong reasons because they don’t believe they’re Hall of Famers, then you have to wonder about the credibility that they’re bringing to themselves by talking about it.

The Hall of Fame discussion continues on MLB Network Radio. Keep it tuned to Sirius 209 XM 89 for the latest analysis and interviews with the game’s biggest names.

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