Craig Biggio, who fell two votes short of the 75 percent needed in the 2014 balloting, tops 17 holdovers on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot announced Monday. That group includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.
Johnson went 303-166 and won five Cy Young Awards. The Big Unit struck out 4,875 batters, second only to Nolan Ryan's 5,714.
Martinez, a two-time Cy Young winner, was 219-100, struck out 3,154 and led the major leagues in ERA five times.
Smoltz is vying to join former Atlanta teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who were inducted this year along with Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. Smoltz had a 213-155 record and 154 saves, the only pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves. He was 15-4 in the postseason.
Don Mattingly will appear on the ballot for the 15th and final time after receiving 8 percent of the votes last year. The Hall's board voted in July to cut a player's eligibility from 15 years to 10 but grandfathered players in the 11-15 group, which also includes Alan Trammell (14th year) and Lee Smith (13th).
Players who have admitted using performance-enhancing drugs or have been accused of use have fallen short.
McGwire, entering his next-to-last year of eligibility, received 11 percent last year, down from a peak of 25.6 in 2008.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, dropped from 38 percent to 35 in his second ballot appearance. Bonds, a seven-time MVP and baseball's career home runs leader, fell from 36 percent to 35. Sosa, who hit 609 homers, dropped from 13 percent to 7 and is close to falling below the 5 percent threshold for remaining on the ballot.
Bonds is optimistic about eventually being selected.
"I love Major League Baseball. I always have and I loved playing the game," Bonds said, according to MLB.com. "I don't have any doubts that I'll get there in time. I'm bothered about it, but I don't sit here going, 'I'm not going to make it.' I don't see how it stays the way it's going. In my mind, in my head, I'm a lot more positive about it than I am negative. I think eventually they'll do the right thing."
He believes he deserves to be in the Hall.
"I deserve to be there. Clemens deserves to be there. The guys that are supposed to be there are supposed to be there. Period," he told the website. "I don't even know how to say it. We are Hall of Famers. Why are we having these conversations about it? Why are we talking about a baseball era that has come and gone? Era, era, era. Do the best players in the game deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Yes. Everything that everyone has accomplished in baseball is in that [record] book. Correct? So if that's correct, then we need to be in there. End of story."
Bonds, who never failed an MLB-administered PED test during his career, urges voters to throw away their perceptions.
"I went through the judicial system, went through the court system," Bonds said. "You know what I mean? Is it me? What are we basing this on? There are a lot of perceptions in this world. Some people aren't getting punished for it, so why should others? You shouldn't be punished on perceptions."
Voters are the approximately 600 writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 27. Results will be announced Jan. 6.
Players elected, along with choices announced Dec. 8 by the golden era committee (1947-72), will be inducted July 26 at Cooperstown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.