While negotiations are still on going with the current face of the franchise, David Wright, New York Mets fans may have some exciting news to look forward too about the last face of the franchise. That would be Mike Piazza, who is eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this offseason. Piazza will debut on the Hall of Fame ballot today, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. Piazza is eligible for the Hall as part of a loaded class, which features players that retired after the 2007 season. Other first time eligible players include lightning rods such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Curt Schilling. The full ballot, which was revealed at noon by the Baseball Hall of Fame, also includes first timers such as Craig Biggio, Steve Finley, and David Wells. Other notable names include Jack Morris, who is on the ballot for the 14th time, Mark McGwire, and Jeff Bagwell.
Piazza may face some unwarranted scrutiny from Hall of Fame voters due to his inclusion with this particular group of candidates. The steroid era has been particularly difficult for the Hall of Fame voters to sort out who did steroids, who didn't, and what to do about their candidacy for baseball's highest individual honor. The Hall has been predictably tough on known steroid users, such as Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. The era has also painted those who have played in it with a broad stroke, so even players such as Jeff Bagwell, who never had any connection to steroids, have had trouble getting votes. Piazza was never directly implicated for steroid use, but a fair share of rumors have circulated about the Mets' star catcher over the years. While it is very possible Piazza gets in on the first ballot alongside Craig Biggio (the safest bet of the first timers), Piazza may have to wait a year or two until he gets enough votes to enter baseball's most hallowed halls. That would be unfortunate, but it is a reality in this new era of steroid use. The results of the Hall of Fame voting will be announced on January 9 on MLB Network.
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