Make room Honus Wagner, Cy Young, and Ty Cobb, the resting place for legendary baseball careers is going to have to accommodate four more diamond dominators: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman have earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
And they each caught the moment they learned the news on tape.
Here’s Jones, the 1999 National League MVP who spent all 19 of his big league seasons with the Atlanta Braves:
— Freddie Freeman (@FreddieFreeman5) January 24, 2018
“I was always of the belief that if you go up there and you’re the toughest out possible every single time you walk up to the plate, the numbers are going to take care of themselves,” Jones said of his career, according to USA Today.
Voters from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America selected the third baseman on an astonishing 97.2 percent of ballots.
Like Jones, Thome accomplished enshrinement in the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 24, 2018
“When you become a Hall of Famer, everybody sees the big steps, they see the numbers,” Thome said. “But what I don’t think they see is the downsides that we all as players go through, and those long hours with guys like (former manager and hitting coach) Charlie Manuel … and my father, all the countless hours as a kid having dad through me batting practice, hit ground balls. It’s much more than all the things people see. It’s about sweat equity and getting after it.”
Guerrero, the 2004 American League MVP, barely missed out on the 75 percent of the vote needed for enshrinement last year, but made it easily with 92.9 percent this year.
— Vladimir Guerrero (@VladGuerrero27) January 24, 2018
“I feel very happy, thanks to God,” Guerrero relayed in Spanish on a conference call. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Last year I was happy when I came close, and this year I feel even happier for making it into the Hall of Fame.”
Hoffman also narrowly missed entry last year, but got in with 79.9 percent this time around.
The closer was the first ever to reach 500 and 600 saves; he’s second all-time with 601 saves—552 of them with the San Diego Padres—behind Mariano Rivera.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) January 24, 2018
“It’s hard to describe the emotions that flood you right away,” Hoffman said. “I know it’s a very standard line, but so many things go through you. You think of your early days in the game, you think of parts of your career, you understand what you put in on a daily basis. To be sitting at this stage, seven years after you retire, it just comes full circle. It’s the cherry on top of a sundae.”