Piazza, Craig Biggio, and Curt Schilling are among first-time eligibles. Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the top holdover candidates.
Biggio topped the 3,000-hit mark — which always has been considered an automatic credential for Cooperstown — and spent his entire career with the Houston Astros.
Schilling was 216-146 and won three World Series championships, including his “bloody sock” performance for the Boston Red Sox in 2004.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are listed on the baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, setting up an election sure to become a referendum on the Steroids Era.
The 37-player ballot was announced Wednesday.
More than 600 longtime members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will vote through next month. Candidates need 75 percent for induction, and the results will be announced Jan. 9.
Complete List of Eligible Candidates
2013 BBWAA Candidates
Yrs on BBWAA ballot
|Sandy Alomar Jr.||1988-2007||1st|
|Jeff Conine||1990, 1992-2007||1st|
|Julio Franco||1982-94, 1996-97, 1999, 2001-07||1st|
|Jose Mesa||1987, 1990-2007||1st|
|Sammy Sosa||1988-2005, 2007||1st|