Baseball Hall of Fame Announced, Bonds Falls Short Again

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(CNN) — The National Baseball Hall of Fame soon will have new, high-quality arms with the election of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz — along with slugger Craig Biggio — hall President Jeff Idelson announced Tuesday.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America picked all three pitchers in their first time on the ballot. Biggio, who played 20 years with the Houston Astros as a catcher, second baseman and outfielder, made it in on his third try after falling a few votes shy last year.

Johnson is the biggest of the bunch, by virtue of his 6-foot, 10-inch frame. Dubbed the “Big Unit,” he broke through with the Seattle Mariners and went on to star for the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants — racking up 4,875 strikeouts, five Cy Young awards and the 2001 World Series MVP honor in the process.

Martinez got his start in Los Angeles, made a name for himself with the Montreal Expos and became a World Series winner with the Boston Red Sox before finishing off his career with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. The charismatic righty from the Dominican Republic posted 219 wins and 100 losses, along with 3,154 strikeouts, over his career.

While Johnson and Martinez were both starting pitchers, Smoltz was that and more. The eight-time All-Star — who spent almost his entire career with the Atlanta Braves — had 24 wins as a starter in 1996, but became a relief pitcher five years later, including a remarkable 55 saves in 2002.

By Greg Botelho

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