Boone among ex-Reds to make brief ballot appearance
CINCINNATI -- The 2015 class of inductees for the National Baseball Hall of Fame were announced on Tuesday, with no former Reds coming close to being elected.
Former third baseman Aaron Boone was the most notable of the ex-Reds to appear on the ballot for the first time. It will also be his last time, because he did not receive enough votes to be placed on next year's ballot. Out of the 549 ballots cast, Boone received two votes or 0.4 percent.
Two other ballot first-timers with Reds connections -- Rich Aurilia and Eddie Guardado -- did not receive a vote and also won't appear in 2016. Closer Lee Smith received 166 votes, or 30.2 percent, during his 13th year on the ballot, and he will have two more chances to get elected.
Four players were elected in Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio.
Candidates must receive 75 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America members to gain election. A candidate also must appear on at least 5 percent of ballots to remain eligible for election the following year.
A third-round Draft pick by the Reds in 1994, and a fan favorite at third base in Cincinnati from 1997-2003, Boone was a lifetime .263/.325/.426 hitter with 126 home runs and 555 RBIs with the Reds, Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Nationals and Astros.
Boone was traded from the Reds to the Yankees for Brandon Claussen, a Minor Leaguer and cash on July 31, 2003, and he had the most memorable moment of his career in New York.
In Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series, it was Boone's walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th inning against Tim Wakefield that put the Yankees into the World Series.
Primarily a shortstop, Aurilia played 15 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1995-2009, including 2005-06 with the Reds, and he was a lifetime .275/.328/.433 hitter with 186 homers and 756 RBIs. In Cincinnati, he played third base, first base and shortstop.
Aurilia also spent 12 seasons with the Giants and one combined 2004 season with the Mariners and Padres.
Guardado, a former closer primarily tied to the Twins, spent parts of 2006-07 with the Reds. The left-hander pitched in 908 games with 187 saves during a 17-year career from 1993-2009. After his July 6, 2006, trade from the Mariners to the Reds for Travis Chick, Guardado pitched in 30 games and totaled eight saves.
Smith, who appeared in 43 games for Cincinnati in 1996, amassed 478 saves over his 18 seasons with eight clubs -- good for third all time.
It's highly likely that a player with Reds ties will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2016. Ken Griffey Jr., who played for Cincinnati from 2000-08, and hit 630 homers over a 22-year career from 1989-2010, is widely viewed as a lock for election next year.