Simply put, this is a pretty strong class as all three were certainly deserving of induction into Cooperstown. Two of them, Bagwell and Raines, had to wait much longer than they should have but hey, better late than never. Bagwell was one of the top first basemen during his time despite playing in a strong offensive era and spending a good chunk of his career in a hitters' park, but he got dogged by some silly PED talk. Raines received a strong push in recent years thanks to the sabermetric crowd as his brilliance got largely overshadowed by the fact that he spent much of his career playing for the Expos and because he got overshadowed by Rickey Henderson. Meanwhile, Rodriguez gets in on his first time in the ballot and he became only the second catcher to get in the first time (Johnny Bench was the first). I-Rod was one of the finest defensive catchers ever and a strong hitter in his own right.
Who is up next? Closer Trevor Hoffman came only five votes shy in his second year in the ballot, virtually ensuring him induction next year. As I have said before, I think that closers get overrated for the most part and I also believe that you could make a case that Billy Wagner, who garnered 10.2% of the voter, was a superior pitcher.
Vladimir Guerrero also came relatively close as he was 15 votes shy in his first year on the ballot. As I said on my ballot, I would vote Guerrero in but I find it hard to make the case that he should have gotten much more support on the ballot than Larry Walker.
The topic of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds is always a fun/annoying one every year but with each year, it seems like we are getting closer to each getting in. Both cracked 50% this year as they each were on their fifth year in the ballot and barring something wild, both should ultimately get in at the rate.
Of the newcomers that fell off the ballot after only one year, there really is one that is totally outrageous and that is Jorge Posada. The Yankee catcher only got 3.8% of the vote, falling short of the 5% threshold to remain on the ballot which I just don't get. Do I think that Posada is a Hall of Famer? I don't but he wasn't that far from the Hall of Fame standard and has a stronger case thgan a number of catchers already in the Hall. How he falls off in only one year, I have not a clue.