Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine know plenty about shutouts, but the two former Atlanta Braves teammates didn't allow another one in Hall of Fame balloting.
The 300-game winners led the Hall's first class of three first-time electees since 1999 and slugger Frank Thomas joined them in earning induction one year after nobody was chosen in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Maddox received 97.2% of the votes, followed by Glavine with 91.9% and Thomas with 83.7%.
Craig Biggio fell just short of the 75% threshold, garnering 74.8%, two votes shy, In his 15th and final year, Jack Morris fell of the ballot with 61.5%.
After only one player (Barry Larkin in 2012) was selected by the writers over the past two years, this year's voting overshadowed controversy about how the height of baseball's steroid era is being handled by the voters.
And pitchers could continue to push the trend toward more enshrinees as 300-game winner Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and another member of those dominant Braves' staffs – John Smoltz – all come onto next year's ballot.
Those debates over the effect of performance enhancing drugs aren't gone as Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa all finished well short of election. Clemens and Bonds decreased in their percentage of ballots from last year but still are short of 50%.
The last time the writers sent four players to Cooperstown was 1955. That class was Joe DiMaggio, Ted Lyons, Dazzy Vance and Gabby Hartnett.
And it's the first trio of first-timers to get in since the 1999 class of Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount. That's also the last time the writers elected three players.
Glavine came up through the Braves system, debuting as a 21-year-old in 1987. Maddux came to the Braves from the Chicago Cubs as a free agent before the 1993 season and, during their 10 seasons together, the Braves won nine division titles, three NL pennants and the 1995 World Series.
Maddux and Glavine were a combined 347-160 during their time as teammates. Maddux finished his career with a 355-227 record and Glavine was 305-203.
And their manager all that time, Bobby Cox, will join them at Cooperstown this summer. Cox and managing peers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were elected to the Hall in a December vote of the Veterans Committee.
Maddux won four Cy Young Awards – one of only four pitchers to win at least that many -- plus an unprecedented-at-any-position 18 Gold Gloves (including 13 in a row) and was an eight-time All-Star. He led the National League in earned run average four times and victories three times.
Glavine was a five-time 20-game winner who won two Cy Youngs and was a 10-time All-Star.
Thomas' 19-year career coincided with much of the Steroid Era, but the hulking two-time MVP joined the Chicago White Sox in 1990 as a former Auburn University football recruit and he didn't have the late-career burst that has made voters wary of some other players from the same time.
Thomas was a .301 career hitter whose 521 home runs rank 18th all-time and his 1,704 runs batted in ranks 22nd. He led the AL in batting at .347 in 1997 and led the league in OPS four times.