July 27th is going to be a special day around Cooperstown, N.Y. The Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2014 is headlined by a pair of 300-game winners in Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and 500-homer club member Frank Thomas. The kind of day Hall of Fame induction day is supposed to be. But the Class of 2014 is especially unique both in quantity or quality. The sextet being inducted on July 27th is comprised of a trio selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), and three by the Expansion Era Committee. The BBWAA’s selections include two of the greatest pitchers of the modern era in Greg Maddux, the best right-hander of his generation, and Tom Glavine, Maddux’s longtime teammate and the best lefty of that same generation, and one of the most feared sluggers of the day in “The Big Hurt” Frank Thomas. The Expansion Era Committee selected three of the greatest managers ever to fill out a lineup card in Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. Only a year after no one was voted in, the BBWAA voted in three and nearly made it four, with Craig Biggio missing by just two votes. The Class of ’14, officially announced on Jan. 9, marked the first time in 15 years three candidates were voted in one class—the first since 1999, when George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount were selected. Cox, La Russa and Torre were voted in by the 16-member Expansion Era committee, comprised of former managers, executives and long-retired players. While 75 percent of votes cast is required, all three easily made it, as they were voted in unanimously in a vote announced on Dec. 9.
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