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Maddux, Glavine, Thomas headline Hall of Fame ballot

Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, each a 300-game winner, and first baseman-designated hitter Frank Thomas are among 19 new candidates on the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot that is being mailed this week to more than 600 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America

They join 17 holdovers from the 2013 balloting that failed to produce a winning candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for the first time since 1996. The holdovers include a collection of steroid-tainted players — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

Results will be announced Jan. 8 and inductions held July 24 at Cooperstown.

Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the 2013 ballot with 388 votes — 39 shy of the 427 required for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage.

Players must be named on 75 percent of the ballots cast to earn election. Other players named on more than half the ballots last year were pitcher Jack Morris (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines (52.2). Players may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive 5 percent of the vote in any year. This is the 15th and final year of eligibility for Morris.

Maddux won four consecutive National League Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Glove Awards in a 23-season career in which he compiled a 355-227 record with a 3.16 earned run average and 3,371 strikeouts in 5,008 1/3 innings combined for the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The righthander led the NL in ERA four times and won at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons, another record.

Glavine, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner (1991 and ‘98) and 10-time All-Star, was 305-203 with a 3.54 ERA over 22 seasons combined with the Braves and New York Mets. The lefthander was a five-time 20-game winner and won four Silver Slugger Awards.

Thomas, who won consecutive American League MVP Awards with the Chicago White Sox in 1993 and ‘94 and placed in the top three in the voting five times overall, finished his 19-year career with 2,468 hits, including 521 home runs. He drove in 1,704 runs, scored 1,494 and had more walks (1,667) than strikeouts (1,397).

The rest of the first-timers on the ballot: Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Moises Alou, Kenny Rogers, Hideo Nomo, Eric Gagne, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Mike Timlin, Armando Benitez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones and Paul Lo Duca.

Former Braves manager Bobby Cox is among 12 men — including four all-time great managers — on the recently released ballot handed to the Expansion Era Committee, which will announce its determination on Dec. 9 during the first day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Billy Martin are also on that ballot.