Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt get first listing on Hall of Fame ballot
Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt are among the four former Astros included amid 20 new Hall of Fame candidates on the ballot released by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Monday.
The two homegrown talents join pitcher Andy Pettitte and infielder Miguel Tejada, each of whom spent a portion of their careers in Houston, on the 35-man ballot.
Players must attain at least 75 percent of the vote to earn election. Joining the foursome as first-time eligible players are all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera and two-time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay. Both are considered favorites to be elected on their first try.
Pettitte, Oswalt and Berkman all played on the 2005 National League championship team alongside Hall of Famers Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. Berkman, among the best switch-hitters in major league history, played 12 of his 15 seasons in Houston
Houston’s first-round pick in the 1997 draft, Berkman made five of his six All-Star teams as an Astro during a 12-year career in which he produced a .959 OPS. He holds franchise records for career on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Berkman’s 136 RBIs in 2006 and 94 extra-base hits in 2001 are each club records, too. He and Alex Bregman are the only players in franchise history to have a 50-homer, 30-double season.
Oswalt finished in the top-five of Cy Young voting five times during his Astros tenure, producing a 3.24 ERA across 10 seasons in Houston. He was runner-up in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2001, five years after the Astros drafted him in the 26th round.
Pettitte’s three-year tenures with the Astros in the mid-2000s helped lead the Astros to their first World Series appearance in franchise history. When Pettitte signed with the club prior to the 2004 season, Roger Clemens came out of retirement to join his friend and former Yankees teammate.
Pettitte, who played in high school at Deer Park, started 83 games as an Astro, pitching to a 3.38 ERA. In 2005, en route to the NL pennant, Pettitte finished fifth in Cy Young voting with a 2.39 ERA.
Tejada was an All-Star in both seasons as an Astro — 2008 and 2009 — after winning the American League MVP with the A’s in 2002.