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Clemens, Schilling see uptick in Hall voting

Former Astros remain well short of induction, along with Wagner, Kent
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, who spent three of his 24 seasons playing for his hometown Astros, saw a small surge in his Hall of Fame voting numbers unveiled Wednesday, but remained well short of the 75 percent needed for induction.

Clemens, in his sixth year on the ballot, appeared on 57.3 percent of the ballots in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, which is a slight uptick from the 54.1 percent he received last year. A player can appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for 10 years.

HOUSTON -- Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, who spent three of his 24 seasons playing for his hometown Astros, saw a small surge in his Hall of Fame voting numbers unveiled Wednesday, but remained well short of the 75 percent needed for induction.

Clemens, in his sixth year on the ballot, appeared on 57.3 percent of the ballots in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, which is a slight uptick from the 54.1 percent he received last year. A player can appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for 10 years.

Complete 2018 Hall of Fame election results

Four players -- Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman -- were elected into the Hall and will join Jack Morris and Alan Trammell at the induction ceremony July 29 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Clemens was one of five former Astros receiving votes, joining Curt Schilling, Jeff Kent, Billy Wagner and Carlos Lee.

The club has had two players get inducted with Astros logos on their plaques -- Craig Biggio in 2015 and Jeff Bagwell last year.

Clemens went 38-18 with a 2.40 ERA with the Astros from 2004-06, leading the league in ERA in '05 and winning his seventh Cy Young in '04. He is one of the greatest pitchers in history, winning 354 games and striking out 4,672 hitters in 4,916 2/3 innings, but suspicions of performance-enhancing drug usage have heretofore kept him out of Cooperstown.

Schilling, a fledgling 24-year-old pitcher with the Astros in 1991 before evolving into dominance with the Phillies in the late 1990s and later the D-backs and Red Sox, appeared on 51.2 percent of the ballots, a jump from 45 percent last year. It's also his sixth appearance on the ballot.

The Astros acquired Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch before the 1991 season from the Orioles in exchange for aging slugger Glenn Davis in what turned out to be a great trade for Houston. Alas, the Astros dealt Schilling away to the Phillies before the '92 season for Jason Grimsley and watched Schilling win 101 games in nine years in Philadelphia.

Kent, who played the 2003-04 seasons in Houston in his mid-30s, fell to 14.5 percent (down from 16.7 percent) in his fifth year on the ballot. Billy Wagner, who holds the Astros record with 225 career saves (1995-2003), made a small jump to 11.1 percent from 10.2 percent in his third year on the ballot.

Kent, the National League Most Valuable Player Award winner in 2000 with the Giants, helped the Astros get to within a game of the World Series in '04, hitting a walk-off homer to beat the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series. For his career, he hit .290 with 2,461 hits and 377 homers -- the most by a second baseman -- and 1,522 RBIs with the Blue Jays, Mets, Indians, Giants, Astros and Dodgers.

Wagner amassed 422 saves in 16 seasons, striking out 1,196 in 903 innings with his 100-mph fastball. Drafted by the Astros in the first round out of Ferrum College in 1993, he made seven All-Star teams -- three with the Astros, one with the Phillies, two with the Mets and one with the Braves in his final year in 2010.

Lee, who hit 133 of his 358 homers in six seasons in Houston, received one Hall of Fame vote and will fall off the ballot.

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

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