It’s that time of year again, and no, not controversial Starbucks cup time. The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been released for 2018 voting.

Yesterday, the MLB made the announcement with the Hall of Fame ballot, including the new players on the ballot, and reminded fans of the players who were held over, and remained eligible for this year’s voting.

There are some shoe-ins, and on the cusp players that may need one or two rounds, and who knows. Find out where your favorite of the 33 ranks. Remember, in order to be elected, a candidate must receive a bare minimum 75% of the ballots cast, with 74.99% leaving you out in the cold.

The Unknowns

It’s difficult to say where these players will end up, but we may eventually see them drop off, or in Cooperstown:

Barry Bonds (7th time on the ballot)

Roger Clemens (7th time on the ballot)

Mike Mussina (6th time on the ballot)

Manny Ramirez (3rd time on the ballot)

Curt Schilling (6th time on the ballot)

Drop-offs

Whether it was from PED scandal, or just not enough votes, this may be the last time we see Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker, Jeff Kent and Gary Sheffield on the Hall of Fame Ballot.

We may also have to say goodbye to Fred McGriff and Edgar Martinez with this as their final year of eligibility.

On The Cusp

Vladimir Guerrero– Second time on the ballot. (71% previous) If the writers take 4, he’s in, but it is unprecedented that they have gone this long selecting so many for such a prestigious honor.

Trevor Hoffman -Second time on the ballot (74% previous) just a few votes shy last year, he could still be a favorite.

Jim Thome– First time on the ballot. Retired in 2012 after playing for the Indians, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers, Twins and Orioles. He made his debut in 1991 with the Cleveland Indians.

He was a 5-time All Star, 2006 AL Comeback Star of the Year, 2003 NL home run leader and was well known for his philanthropic efforts throughout his career. His batting stance and trademark calling his shot made him somewhat legendary.

Jim Thome appears on the MLB Hall of Fame Ballot for the first time.

Jim Thome’s signature.(Source: Twitter)

Despite his size, he was never linked to PEDs and had the bat to back up his numbers. Sadly, in today’s day and age, this makes him far more interesting.  He’s on the cusp, because he has to compete with other returning players who have received 70% of votes.

The Shoe-In

Chipper Jones– First time on the ballot. Retired in 2012 and was a lifelong Brave. Larry Wayne Jones Jr. a.k.a Chipper got his start when he was drafted by the Braves in 1990.

He was part of the 1995 World Series team, that included other HoF inductees Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine.  He was an 8-time All Star, 1999 MVP recipient, 2008 batting champion, and currently holds the league record for career RBIs by a third baseman.

Chipper Jones and others up for HoF as ballot released

Cooperstown was made for men like Chipper. Let’s hope the MLB Hall of Fame ballot is just the stepping stone. (Source: Twitter)

He had a couple of stints at shortstop when he first started and left-field when his injuries were taking a bit of a toll on him, but he is a career third baseman. He was a dangerous batter from both sides of the plate.

There was never any controversy or question that he used steroids when the scandals came about, which puts him ahead of some of the others on the ballot. #yicketty

Good luck to those on the hall of fame ballot, and may the odds be ever in your favor.