Former Arizona Wildcats infielder Trevor Hoffman, who switched to the mound in pro ball and became a legendary MLB closer, is very close to being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility.
According to Hall of Fame ballot tracker Ryan Thibodaux, Hoffman is on 73 percent of the 198 ballots accumulated through Friday from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Only 45.5 percent of the ballots are in.
To make the Hall of Fame, a player must be on 75 percent of the ballots.
Hoffman could become the first Arizona player to be selected a Hall of Famer when the 2017 class is announced Wednesday.
The long-time San Diego Padres closer tallied 601 career saves (second-most in baseball history behind Mariano Rivera).
Picture of Hoffman running to first base during his Arizona career as a shortstop:
“It’s going to be nip and tuck, honestly,” Hoffman recently told MLB.com. “I’ve been taking a look at the tracking of the ballots (Thibodaux) has been able to see, and it’s going to be a couple of percentage points either way. It’s going to be a little nerve-racking, no doubt about it.”
The seven-time All-Star finished with 67.3 percent of votes in his first year of eligibility.
“I’m not going for the full media thing with cameras around,” he said. “If I don’t get in, it’s like putting up plastic in the clubhouse (anticipating winning a championship) and not getting it done and having the clubbies have to rip it all down. It’s going to be so close. I’m just going to lay low at the house and see what happens.”
In his 18 years in the majors, Hoffman appeared in 1,035 games (all as a reliever). He had a 2.87 ERA and strick out 9.4 hitters per nine innings.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.