You know how hard it is to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame? In 2013, with a ballot brimming with qualified candidates, not one player received the 75 percent of the votes needed for admission. (I identified 14 likely Hall of Famers on the 2013 ballot.)

Granted, 2013 was the first year of eligibility for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both poster boys for performance-enhancing drugs (PED), bringing to a head the contentious debate about "cheaters" and their admission into the Hall. But there were certainly several "clean" players on that ballot, and a few of those, such as 3000-hit-club member Craig Biggio, would have been uncontroversial picks in any previous year.

And although 2014 saw the election of three players—Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas—it was merely the tip of a talent-heavy iceberg (I identified 18 likely Hall of Famers for that ballot), while providing a burn to Biggio yet again as not only did he miss election by one vote (he garnered 74.8 percent of the vote), but three first-time candidates leapfrogged him into Cooperstown.
Baseball immortality: Precious few attain it, most do not even come close—and some perch on the cusp of that immortality as signified by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Theirs are the test cases, players whose careers, accomplishments, and legacies form the threshold of what separates a Hall of Famer from the rest.

Baseball Hall of Fame voting in the last few years has been fascinating for a number of reasons, particularly the logjam of qualified candidates, which promises to remain an issue for the next few years. That logjam puts additional pressure on the borderline candidates—will they be overlooked, perhaps unfairly, because there are too many candidates from which to choose?

99. Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon came close to getting to the 3,000 Hit mark in his career (2,769) and did have other decent career numbers with 235 Home Runs, 1,139 Runs Batted in and 408 Stolen Bases. Damon was also a very popular figure who won two World Series (one in Boston and one in New York), but a look at his individual campaigns show that of a statistical compiler, as he never had a top ten MVP season, only made two All Stars, and only was in the top ten in WAR for Position Players once. Throw in his sub .800 career OPS and sub par defense, do we have a more popular Vada Pinson on our hands?  His vote tally in his first year of eligibility will be very interesting.