COOPERSTOWN - The 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame class is a bit more sparse than it has been in recent years. It was announced by the MLB and the Baseball Writers' Association of America yesterday that the two players elected to the Hall of Fame this year are Derek Jeter and Larry Walker.
Jeter, the former New York Yankees shortstop, came one vote shy of having a unanimous election to the Hall. His former teammate, Mariano Rivera, remains the only player to be elected unanimously. Over his career, Jeter was a fourteen-time All-Star and a five-time World Series champion. He hit .310 for his career with 3,465 hits. It's a no-brainer that he made it in, even if he is a dreaded Yankee.
Larry Walker, who played right field for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals over his sixteen-season career, made it into the Hall of Fame by six votes on his last year eligible on the ballot. Walker was an All-Star five times, a batting champion three times, and the MVP of the National League in 1997. He becomes the first Colorado Rockie in the Hall.
Coming out of the woodwork to congratulate the players was former Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis who, as most players did, tipped his cap to Jeter. He tweeted, "Congrats Jete! Man was it fun competing against you on the field. Even more fun playing on USA Baseball together."
Speaking of former Red Sox players, three of them had a narrative after the Hall of Fame ballot results were announced. Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, and Manny Ramirez, all of whom I believe deserve to be in the Hall (with the requisite disclaimers for the latter two), did not make it on the voting this year, as shared by Yahoo! Sports. For Ramirez, it seems unlikely that he will ever get in, due to his 2009 and 2011 PED-positive tests. This year, his fourth, he only garnered 28.2 percent of the vote and because of the lateness of his own steroid association, the odds are against him.
Clemens, also embroiled in the PED scandal, had a slightly better showing. Clemens improved from 59% to 61%. It's not nearly enough to feel confident about his chances getting in eventually, but it is better than Manny's, at least.
The big winner, however, was Schilling. His total vote percentage increasing by nearly ten whole points as he now garnered 70% of the ballot consideration. It was his eighth year on the ballot and with next year's class of Torii Hunter and Mark Buehrle not exactly lighting up baseball history, it seems like Schilling might be a lock for the Hall of Fame class of 2021. Granted, he has been an absolute idiot in the past, which has been held against him by voters. You can never rule out that he'll do something dumb again. But right now, he's on the path to Cooperstown.
Image via Wikimedia Commons