Isringhausen, Damon, Matsui off Hall ballot

January 25th, 2018

OAKLAND -- Three former A's players appeared on the 2018 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, each drawing little support in their first -- and subsequently last -- attempt into Cooperstown.
Right-hander Jason Isringhausen, whose career as a closer took off in Oakland, didn't earn a vote, while former A's outfielders Johnny Damon (1.9 percent) and Hideki Matsui (0.9 percent) also fell short of the 5-percent threshold needed to remain on the ballot.
• Complete Hall of Fame election results
Eligible voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America considered 33 candidates on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot, and for the fourth time in baseball history, four were elected. Chipper Jones (97.2 percent), Vladimir Guerrero (92.9 percent), Jim Thome (89.8 percent) and Trevor Hoffman (79.9 percent) will be enshrined into Cooperstown in July, along with Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, both of whom were elected by the Modern Baseball Era Committee.

Players become eligible for Hall of Fame consideration five years after retirement, and they can remain on the ballot for up to 10 years as long as they appear on at least 5 percent of the ballots cast each year.
The A's struck a deal for Isringhausen at the Trade Deadline in 1999, immediately making him their closer and utilizing him in that role in consecutive playoff runs from 2000-01. Isringhausen departed for the Cardinals as a free agent at the conclusion of the '01 season, continuing an illustrious career that included two All-Star nods and 300 saves.
The charismatic Damon was his teammate on the '01 club, helping the A's to 102 wins and a postseason berth that ended in familiar fashion. Damon went 9-for-22 with three extra-base hits in a losing cause against the Yankees for a second straight year.
Matsui, meanwhile, joined the A's as a free agent ahead of the 2011 season, hitting .251 with 12 homers and 72 RBIs in 141 games, serving as the primary designated hitter.