“What I did was real and that’s why I’ve got a big smile on my face,” he said. “I did it the right way.”
Thomas said that he didn't mind what other players were doing, but he thought that maybe his success and his strength and size – which he credited to being a college football player at Auburn – caused some players to turn to steroids.
“I look at a couple of guys, one in particular and we all know who it is, who was a Hall of Famer before he ever started using steroids,” he said. “I’ll be honest, I think I was one of those guys, because of my size and strength from football, who caused some of those other players to turn to (steroids.)
“I don’t fault them at all,” he continued, “but it never bothered me because I always knew I was going to get (my numbers). If I didn’t get hurt for a three and a half year period, I think I would have been right there at the top with some of them, in terms of the numbers.”
Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were all selected on their first times on the ballot. The newcomers may have hurt the chances of other long-term candidates as all but two returning players – Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza – had their percentages decline from last year’s results.
Biggio, the catcher and second baseman for the Houston Astros who was the top vote getter in 2013, came within two votes of making the induction a foursome. He got 74.8 percent of the vote and was named on 427 of 571 ballots. He tied Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin of not getting selected. Traynor was elected in 1948. Fox was in his last year on the ballot and was elected by the Veterans Committee in 1997.