San Diego Padres legend and former University of Arizona player Trevor Hoffman was up for National Baseball Hall of Fame election for the second time this year, but fell just short, appearing on 74% of the ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
In 2016, Hoffman appeared on 67.3% of the ballots. 75% is required for election. He received 327 votes this year, which was five shy of the number required.
A seven-time All-Star, Hoffman is second all-time in MLB history with 601 saves. Another former Wildcat, Mark Melancon, is currently T-71st on the all-time saves list with Heath Bell, recording 168 at this point in his career.
While Hoffman is known for his pitching prowess at the big league level, he was actually a shortstop when he was at Arizona.
Of his two seasons, 1988 was the better one statistically for Hoffman, as he put up a slash line of .371/.432./.532. He only struck out 17 times in 186 ABs. Interestingly enough, Stanford, led by Mark Marquess, won the National Championship that year. 2017 will be Marquess’ last at Stanford.
The 1989 Arizona team was loaded, with J.T. Snow leading the team in batting average; Alan Zinter, Scott Erickson, and Kevin Long being named All-Americans; Zinter was a Golden Spikes Award finalist; and Erickson led the nation with 18 wins. Hoffman was also All-Pac-10 South with these four guys.
Arizona was eliminated in the 1989 West I Regional, held in Tucson, by losing two games to Long Beach State, surrendering ten runs in each of those games.
The increase in his percentage is encouraging for next year. Players can be on the ballot for up to 15 years before they are taken off, so it seems likely that he’ll get in at some point barring any setbacks or major changes in the mindset of voters with regards to the “steroid era”.
Three players were voted in for the 2017 class. They are Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Pudge Rodriguez.