It’s that time of year again when the Hall of Fame releases its latest ballot. And we analyze it for you so you don’t have to!
Not only will Jeter cruise to Cooperstown, he could follow in the footsteps of teammate Mariano Rivera and be a unanimous selection. He should be; the guy is sixth all-time in hits. I’ve never understood the claims that Jeter was overrated. He was a great, great player. And that’s coming from a Yankees hater!
There are some very good ballplayers making their first appearance on a Hall of Fame ballot this year. However, none has a chance of enshrinement. They include a Cy Young award winner (Cliff Lee), members of the 400 home run club (Jason Giambi, Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko) and a couple of other notables (Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez). Some of them might earn above 5% to stay on the ballot for another year, but that’s about it. There are other new names not worth mentioning who will likely not get any votes at all.
Say whatever you want about his post-career exploits, the guy was a great pitcher, especially in the postseason. He got nearly 61% of the vote last year. In a relatively weak year, does he get enough votes on his eighth try?
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte
Ah, the steroid guys. Bonds and Clemens are getting closer; both got 59% last year. Just like Schilling, they could benefit from a poor crop of newcomers to finally get over the top. The other guys have garnered little support.
Larry Walker, Todd Helton
The Colorado guys. Walker is on the ballot for the final time, coming off a year in which he climbed to 54% of the vote. Getting 21% more in one year is quite a reach. A fine player, but is he a Hall of Famer? Helton is on his second ballot after getting just 16% last year. I can see him being one of these players whose candidacy grows over the next few years. He will get plenty of more votes this year, but not close to 75%
The 11-time Gold Glover winner at shortstop got almost 43% of the vote in his second ballot. A lot of people like him. He will get more votes, but not enough.
Jeff Kent, Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner
All scored in the teens last time. Each has his supporters (especially Rolen), but it would be a shock if any of them ever gets in.
Despite 400+ homers and being one of the best defensive center fielders ever (10 consecutive Gold Gloves), Jones has garnered little enthusiasm, getting just 7% of the vote last time. I guess his peak was too short and his fall too precipitous.
So when it is all said and done, I predict Jeter will be unanimous, and Schilling just squeaks in. Bonds and Clemens will climb to 65% and be poised to get in next time on their ninth ballot, when there are no real newcomers of note.