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Hall of Fame votes trending in Piazza's favor

Past results point to catcher eventually joining baseball's elite
MLB.com

Mike Piazza's chances for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame are very good.

That statement is based not only on the worth of his candidacy, but on the historical trends in balloting by the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Mike Piazza's chances for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame are very good.

That statement is based not only on the worth of his candidacy, but on the historical trends in balloting by the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

• Hall of Fame coverage

With 75 percent of the vote necessary for election, Piazza received 69.9 percent last year. Recent history indicates that, with support at that level, his election should now be a matter of when, not if. The results of the 2016 balloting will be announced today at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com, with coverage beginning at 3 p.m.

Video: Watch the 2016 Hall of Fame election on MLB Network

Here is a list of candidates from the past two decades who went from close-but-not-quite to Hall of Famer status.

• In the 2013 voting, Craig Biggio received 68.2 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 82.7 percent.

• In 2011, Barry Larkin received 62.1 percent of the vote. One year later, he was elected with 86.4 percent.

• In 2009, Bert Blyleven received 62.7 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 79.7 percent.

• In 2009, Andre Dawson had 67.0 percent of the vote. One year later, he was elected with 77.9 percent.

Video: Jeff Idelson joins Hot Stove to discuss HOF election

• In 2007, Jim Rice had 63.5 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 76.4 percent.

• In 2006, Rich Gossage had 64.6 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 85.8 percent.

• In 2005, Bruce Sutter had 66.7 percent of the vote. One year later, he was elected with 76.9 percent.

• In 2004, Ryne Sandberg had 61.1 percent of the vote. One year later, he was elected with 76.2 percent.

• In 2001, Gary Carter had 64.9 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 78.0 percent.

• MLB.com's 2016 Hall of Fame ballots

• In 1999, Carlton Fisk had 66.4 percent of the vote. One year later, he was elected with 79.6 percent.

• In 1998, Tony Perez had 67.9 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 77.2 percent.

• In 1996, Don Sutton had 63.8 percent of the vote. Two years later, he was elected with 81.6 percent.

• In 1996, Phil Niekro had 68.3 percent of the vote. One year later, he was elected with 80.3 percent.

• Hall of Fame results to be announced

In the past 20 years, the only man who reached a level of support similar to Piazza's but was not elected was Jack Morris. He had 67.7 percent of the vote in 2013, but that was his final year on the ballot.

Piazza's playing credentials are in order, fully worthy of induction in Cooperstown. Rumors of his involvement in performance-enhancing substances have not been supported by any sort of facts.

Piazza's Hall candidacy may have been harmed by those rumors, but he has made steady progress in the voting. Over his previous three years on the ballot, he had 57.8 percent, 62.2 percent, and 69.9 percent.

And Piazza has picked up support in a nearby precinct. Two years ago, among the 17 MLB.com writers eligible for Hall of Fame voting, Piazza had just eight votes, or 47.1 percent. This year, of 16 eligible voters on the MLB.com staff, 14 voted for Piazza, for 87.5 percent. That doesn't elect him, but it indicates that his support is still on the rise, as it should be.

Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com.