John Smoltz

Position: Pitcher • Career: 1988-2009, almost entirely with the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame vote total: 82.9 percent (first year on ballot)

Smoltz won 213 games as a starter, saved 154 as a closer, struck out more than 3,000 and is the rare Brave equated with October success (15-4).

He did things that teammates, opponents and doctors didn't believe he could do. He had Tommy John surgery, missed the 2000 season and returned as a closer late in 2001, effectively to extend his career. When he felt the team needed him back in the rotation four years later, he pushed management to let him start again. Against all medical and baseball logic, he succeeded.

He also might be the most competitive player in franchise history.

"He wasn't a guy who made his start and then turned it off for four days," said Tom Glavine, his former teammate and a Hall of Famer. "He thrived on competition all the time. John would bet you on whether the sun would come up the next morning."

by the numbers

• In 1996 he went 24-8 and posted a 2.94 ERA and league-best 276 strikeouts to capture the NL Cy Young Award.

• In 2002 he set a National League record by converting 55 saves (tied by the Los Angeles Dodgers' Eric Gagne in 2003).

Randy Johnson

Position: Pitcher

Career: 1988-2009 with six teams, mainly the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks

HOF vote total: 97.3 percent (first year on ballot)

The 6-foot-10 Johnson walked more than he struck out in his first professional summer, in the New York-Penn League in 1985. Now he enters the Hall of Fame after a major league career that will never be duplicated.

He holds the record for strikeouts by a lefthander, with 4,875. He was the last pitcher to earn 300 victories. His five Cy Young Awards are second only to Roger Clemens.

By the numbers

• On May 18, 2004, at Atlanta's Turner Field, Johnson became the oldest pitcher (40) to throw a perfect game. He broke the record set a century earlier by Cy Young, who pitched a perfect game at age 37 on May 5, 1904.

Craig Biggio

Position: Catcher/2B/OF

Career: 1988-2007, all with the Houston Astros

HOF vote total: 82.7 percent (third year on ballot)

Biggio will be the first player to enter Cooperstown as an Astro.

He hit up and down the lineup but found the most success at leadoff. He said he didn't become a true leadoff hitter until playing for manager Larry Dierker, who favored him in the No. 1 spot.

Said Biggio when compared with leadoff hitter Rickey Henderson: "Rickey is the best leadoff man of all time. But to be in the same breath as Rickey is pretty cool."

by the numbers

• Only player in major league history with at least 3,000 hits (3,060), 600 doubles (668 — fifth all-time), 400 stolen bases (414) and 250 home runs (291).

• Was hit by a pitch 285 times, second all-time.

Pedro Martinez

Position: Pitcher

Career: 1992-2009 with five teams (seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox)

HOF vote total: 91.1 percent (first year on ballot)

Martinez joins Juan Marichal as the only natives of the Dominican Republic elected to the Hall.

He began his career as a setup man with the Dodgers in 1993 before blossoming into a dominant starter with the Montreal Expos.

His best season was in 1999 with the Red Sox when he went 23-4 with a league-best 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts, including a then-record 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

by the numbers

• His 3,154 strikeouts rank 13th all-time; his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.15-to-1 ranks third all-time; and his average of 10.04 strikeouts per nine innings also is third all-time.

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