The ballot for baseball’s Hall of Fame class of 2015 was released Monday, and former Royals Tom Gordon and Jermaine Dye made the list.
The group of 17 newcomers to the ballot also includes pitching stars Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.
Among the 17 holdovers back for another shot at the Hall is Craig Biggio, who fell two votes short of the 75 percent needed in the 2014 balloting.
Gordon — a pitcher who reached the top of his game on the success of his sharp breaking ball that could freeze hitters — was selected by the Royals in the sixth round of the 1986 amateur draft. He played with Kansas City from 1988 to ’95.
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As a Royal, Gordon went 79-71 with an ERA of 4.02 and 999 strikeouts. For his major-league career, which spanned 21 years and eight teams, Gordon had a record of 138-126 with an ERA of 3.96 and 1928 strikeouts.
In 1989 with the Royals, Gordon, whose nickname was “Flash,” won 17 games against nine losses and posted an ERA of 3.64 and struck out 153 hitters.
Dye — an outfielder who was acquired by the Royals in a 1997 trade with the Braves for Keith Lockhart and Michael Tucker — played with KC from ’97 to 2001. As a Royal, Dye hit 85 homers and had a .284 batting average and .820 OPS.
For his career, which lasted 14 seasons across four teams, Dye hit 325 home runs with a batting average of .274 and anOPS of .826.
Dye won a Gold Glove in 2000 as a Royal.
Johnson and Martinez, though, top the list of newcomers.
Johnson, a dominating left-hander, went 303-166, won five Cy Young Awards. The Big Unit struck out 4,875, second only to Nolan Ryan’s 5,714.
Martinez, a two-time Cy Young winner, was 219-100, struck out 3,154 and led the major leagues in ERA five times.
Smoltz is vying to join former Atlanta teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who were inducted this year along with Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. Smoltz had a 213-155 record and 154 seasons, the only pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves. He was 15-4 in the postseason.
Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Gary Sheffield and players’ association head Tony Clark also are among the first-time eligibles.
Don Mattingly will appear on the ballot for the 15th and final time after receiving 8 percent last year. The Hall’s board voted in July to cut a player’s eligibility from 15 years to 10 but grandfathered players in the 11-15 group, which also includes Alan Trammell (14th year) and Lee Smith (13th).
Players who have admitted steroids use or been tainted with accusations of use have fallen short.
McGwire, entering his next-to-last year of eligibility, received 11 percent last year, down from a peak of 25.6 in 2008.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, dropped from 38 percent to 35 in his second ballot appearance. Bonds, a seven-time MVP and baseball’s career home runs leader, fell from 36 percent to 35. Sosa, who hit 609 homers, dropped from 13 percent to 7 and is close to falling below the 5 percent threshold for remaining on the ballot.
Voters are the approximately 600 writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 27. Results will be announced Jan. 6. Players elected, along with choices announced Dec. 8 by the golden era committee (1947-72), will be inducted July 26 at Cooperstown.