The Baseball Writers' Association of America has just released the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. The list includes 34 names, half of which come from previous elections and half of which are eligible for the first time. Among the returning players, fan favorite Mike Piazza will appear on the ballot for the third time. The former Mets catcher accumulated 62.2 percent of the vote last year and will need to get 75 percent of the vote to be elected for the 2015 class.
Piazza's Hall of Fame quest this year will not be made any easier with first-time appearances from the likes of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz, all of whom are favorites to become first-ballot selections. Craig Biggio, who agonizingly missed the cut by just 0.2 percentage points last year, is also expected to make up the small margin in his third year on the ballot.
Regarding Piazza's case, SI.com's Jay Jaffe, in a discussion with our own Jeffrey Paternostro as part of Amazin' Avenue Audio Episode 85, said he believed Piazza would be inducted following the 2016 ballot. Jaffe was optimistic about the former Met's chances of getting into Cooperstown at some point, unless previously unknown PED-related revelations surface. Results of the vote will be announced on January 6, 2015.