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Former Astros Clemens, Schilling inch near Hall

@brianmctaggart
January 21, 2020

HOUSTON -- A pair of former Astros pitchers surged closer to perhaps gaining induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in voting that was released on Tuesday. Curt Schilling, who pitched with the Astros in 1991 before becoming a star with the Phillies and later the D-backs and Red

HOUSTON -- A pair of former Astros pitchers surged closer to perhaps gaining induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in voting that was released on Tuesday.

Curt Schilling, who pitched with the Astros in 1991 before becoming a star with the Phillies and later the D-backs and Red Sox, appeared on 70% of the ballots and missed election by just 5%, or 20 votes. The right-hander is in prime position to earn election next year, his penultimate year of candidacy. The next-highest percentage went to Roger Clemens (242 votes, 61%), who along with Schilling has only two years remaining on the ballot.

Jeter's Hall call near-unanimous; Walker elected

Former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and former Expos, Rockies and Cardinals outfielder Larry Walker were elected for Hall enshrinement through voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The pair will be inducted on July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with former catcher Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller, who were selected by the Today’s Game Era Committee in December.

Complete 2020 Hall of Fame election results

Other former Astros receiving votes were Billy Wagner with 31.7% in his fifth year on the ballot, Jeff Kent with 27.5% in his seventh year and Andy Pettitte with 11.3% in his second year.

Wagner made a huge jump from his 16.7% total from last year. By comparison, Walker received only 11.8% of the vote in his fifth year on the ballot. Clemens surpassed 60% for the first time and could pick up more support next year, when there will be no slam-dunk candidates, as there have been for the past few years.

Kent, an Astro from 2003-04, enjoyed a sizeable increase from the 18.1% he posted last year, but he likely has too much ground to make up in only three years. Pettitte, who pitched for the Astros from 2004-06, saw his percentage rise slightly from 9.9%.

There are nine former Astros in the Hall of Fame, but only Jeff Bagwell (2017) and Craig Biggio (2015) have Astros caps on their plaques in Cooperstown.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.