Jones, Thome elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, Bonds, Clemens wait


New York (AFP) - Atlanta Braves icon Chipper Jones and slugger Jim Thome were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility as scandal-tainted Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were left waiting on Wednesday.

Jones and Thome were elected to the class of 2018, to be inducted on July 29 at Cooperstown, New York, along with Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

It's the fourth time that the Baseball Writers' Association of America has elected four players in a year, after doing so in 1947, 1955 and 2015.

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Jones was named on 97.2 percent of the ballots, one of the highest percentages in history.

An eight-time All-Star and the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player, Jones is one of the greatest switch-hitters of all time, right up there with Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray.

He spent all of his 19-year-career with the Braves, amassing a career batting average of .303 and 468 home runs.

Guerrero, the 2004 American League MVP, was a nine-time All-Star and an eight-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

His 449 career home runs are tied with fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell for 40th in Major League Baseball history.

Hoffman amassed 601 career saves as a closing pitcher, the second most in MLB history behind Yankees legend Mariano Rivera. He had nine 40-save seasons in his 16 years with the San Diego Padres.

Thome was a five-time All-Star over the course of his 22-year career and ranks eighth in MLB history with 612 home runs. His .554 career slugging percentage ranks among the top 25 in history, as well.

Thome is best remembered for his 13 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, two of which resulted in a trip to the World Series.

He, Bonds and Babe Ruth are the only three players in history to rank in the top 10 all-time in home runs and walks.

Bonds is MLB's career home run king with 762 over 22 campaigns, including a single-season record 73 in 2001.

He was caught up in the BALCO steroid scandal, with his personal trainer Greg Anderson among those convicted, although Bonds himself had an obstruction conviction overturned in 2015.

Nevertheless, Bonds has failed to reach the 75 percent voting support needed to be inducted since he debuted on the ballot in 2013.

The same is true of Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards as top pitcher with 354 win, a 3.12 earned-run-average and 4,672 strikeouts in 24 seasons.

Clemens was alleged to have taken steroids in later years of his career by former trainer Brian McNamee but denied the claims in testimony before the US Congress.

He was charged with perjury for lying in his denial and after a mistrial he was found innocent in 2012 of lying to lawmakers.

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