CINCINNATI -- For former Reds first baseman Sean Casey, the honor was just his inclusion on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. But for the friendly Cincinnati fan favorite, it proved to be a short-lived honor.
When Hall of Fame balloting results were revealed by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Wednesday, Casey did not receive a single vote in his first year on the ballot. While candidates need to be voted on 75 percent of the received ballots to gain election, players must earn five percent or more to remain eligible on the ballot for up to 15 years.
Alas, Casey did not meet that requirement and will never again appear on a Hall of Fame ballot.
An outgoing player who earned the nickname of "The Mayor," Casey had a 12-year Major League career with the Indians, Reds, Tigers, Pirates and Red Sox. Casey, who played in Cincinnati from 1998-2005, was a three-time All-Star in 1999, 2001 and 2004. A career .302/.367/.447 hitter, his best season came in 1999 when he batted .332 with 25 home runs and 99 RBIs.
Although Casey had no realistic shot of earning election to Cooperstown, he might have received a smattering of votes in past years -- especially with no requirement to publicize individual ballots. But with a crowded and star-packed ballot this year, and the usual 10-player limit on ballots, many voters appeared to forego that courtesy this year.
The players going into the Hall of Fame in July will be former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux (555 votes of the 571 ballots or 97.2 percent) and Tom Glavine (525 votes or 91.9 percent) and former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas (478 votes or 83.7 percent).
In 2012, former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin was elected to the Hall of Fame on his third attempt. Other Reds in the Hall include Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Frank Robinson.
Other ex-Reds will be joining the ballot in the coming years, with only one having a rock-solid chance of election. In 2015, Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone and David Weathers will appear. In 2016, Ken Griffey Jr. will make his debut and is widely expected to be a first-ballot electee. However, he would likely enter as a Mariner since the best years of Griffey's career came in Seattle from 1989-99 before he played for the Reds from 2000-08.
In 2017, Reds fans should recognize the names of Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria and Arthur Rhodes. In 2018, it will be Scott Rolen's first time on the ballot. The prime of Rolen's career, however, was spent with the Cardinals.