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Mike Piazza appears Hall of Fame-bound as announcement day nears

Mike Piazza appears in solid shape to head to Cooperstown this summer.

The ex-New York Mets slugger has received votes on 90 percent of the 130 Hall of Fame ballots that are public and which have been counted by @NotMrTibbs. That represents nearly 30 percent of the total ballots that have been cast, making it a solid sample size. (Voters are not obligated to publicly reveal their ballots, which were due on Dec. 21.)

While the non-public ballots may belong to older voters who skew more toward being hard-liners in judging players from the steroid era, the 47-year-old Piazza still is comfortably ahead of the 75 percent threshold required for election on the known ballots.

The official results will be announced Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET.

Ken Griffey Jr. is a lock for Hall of Fame election. He has appeared on all 130 ballots collected so far. Jeff Bagwell is at 83.8 percent.

Piazza, now in his fourth year of eligibility, narrowly missed election a year ago. He appeared on 69.9 percent of the 549 ballots cast.

This seems to bode well for Piazza, too: Far fewer ballots have been distributed this cycle. The Hall of Fame decided to weed out voters who have been removed from covering the sport for a long time. Those purged voters likely tended to be the hard-liners, so it should benefit candidates such as Piazza. Only 475 ballots went out for this election -- 74 fewer than the number of votes cast a year ago.