Derek Jeter and Larry Walker Elected to the Hall of Fame

Surprising absolutely nobody, Derek Jeter made it into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Surprising many? It wasn’t a unanimous vote. A few months ago when they announced the players on the ballot, I was sure that he’d be a lock to be the second player to be unanimously voted in on the first year that he could be. But nope. There had to be that one guy not vote him in.

Seriously. Three hundred and ninety six out of three hundred and ninety seven votes came in to elect Derek Jeter into the Hall of Fame. One might think that the only voter to not vote him in might have been using their votes to make sure that the ten other guys he felt were most deserving got votes. But more than likely? It was probably some douche with an axe to grind someone that didn’t want Jeter to be unanimous. Whatever the case might be, Jeter made it.

Jeter’s career stats scream Hall of Fame:

  • Life time batting average: .310
  • 3,465 career hits (6th on the all-time list behind Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Tris Speaker
  • 260 home runs
  • 14-time All Star (1998 – 2002, 2004, 2006 – 2012, 2014)
  • Rookie of the year (1996)
  • World Series MVP (2000)
  • 5 Gold Gloves (2004 – 2006, 2009, 2010)
  • 5 Silver Sluggers (2006 – 2010, 2012)
  • Earned the nickname Mr. November with five World Series titles (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009)

Larry Walker made it in his last year of eligibility. He jumped from just 34.1% in 2018, to 54.6% in 2019 to 76.6% this year. Honestly, I didn’t think he would make it with how short he’d fallen year after year, but here we are. Walker spent his first six seasons in Montreal from 1989 – 1994, then Colorado until mid-2004, when he was traded to St. Louis, where he played out his final year and a half. His numbers are pretty respectable, and though he never got to win a World Series, he did make it there in 2004 while with the Cardinals.

Walker’s career highlights:

  • Life time batting average: .313
  • 2,160 career hits (200th all time)
  • 1997 NL MVP
  • 5 time All Star (1992, 1997 – 1999, 2001)
  • NL Batting Champion (1998, 1999, 2001)
  • 7 Gold Gloves (1992 – 1993, 1997 – 1999, 2001 – 2002)
  • 3 Silver Sluggers (1992, 1997, 1999)

There are guys on the ballot that had better career numbers than Walker, but might never make the Hall because of their association with steroids and cheating. Barry Bonds(*) is the all-time home run leader(*) with 762 bombs, and the all-time Wins Above Replacement (WAR) leader (according to baseball-reference.com). He jumped a whole percent and a half to earn 60.7% of the vote. Two of the greatest pitchers of all time are still waiting as well. Curt Schilling jumps up from 60.9% in 2019 to 70% this year with 278 votes. Roger Clemens earned 61% of the vote. Bonds, Schilling, and Clemens were all on their eighth ballot, and one might wonder if the BBWAA is making them sweat until their tenth and final year of eligibility before letting them in. Sammy Sosa, also in his eight year on the ballot, earned just 13.9%. Sosa’s home run race rival, Mark Maguire, ended up being snubbed completely, due to his admitted PED use – and in his tenth and final year (2016), he ended up with just 12.3% of the vote.

So just how did the votes turn out for those that didn’t get elected this year?

Remaining on the ballot in 2021:

  • Curt Schilling (8th year, 278 votes, 70%)
  • Roger Clemens (8th year, 242 votes, 61%)
  • Barry Bonds (8th year, 241 votes, 60.7%)
  • Omar Vizquel (3rd year, 209 votes, 52.6%)
  • Scott Rolen (3rd year, 140 votes, 35.3%)
  • Billy Wagner (5th year, 126 votes, 31.7%)
  • Garry Sheffield (6th year, 121 votes, 30.5%)
  • Todd Helton (2nd year, 116 votes, 29.2%)
  • Manny Ramirez (4th year, 112 votes, 28.2%)
  • Jeff Kent (7th year, 109 votes, 27.5%)
  • Andruw Jones (3rd year, 77 votes, 19.4%)
  • Sammy Sosa (8th year, 55 vote, 13.9%)
  • Andy Pettitte (2nd year, 45 votes, 11.3%)
  • Bobby Abreu (1st year, 22 votes, 5.5%)

Dropping off the ballot were all players in their first year of eligibility.

  • Paul Konerko (10 votes, 2.5%)
  • Jason Giambi (6 votes, 1.5%)
  • Alfonso Soriano (6 votes, 1.5%)
  • Eric Chavez (2 votes, 0.5%)
  • Cliff Lee (2 votes, 0.5%)
  • Raul Ibanez (1 vote, 0.3%)
  • JJ Putz (1 vote, 0.3%)
  • Brad Penny (1 vote, 0.3%)
  • Adam Dunn (1 vote, 0.3%)
  • Carlos Pena (0 votes)
  • Heath Bell (0 votes)
  • Rafael Furcal (0 votes)
  • Brian Roberts (0 votes)
  • Jose Valverde (0 votes)
  • Chone Figgins (0 votes)
  • Josh Beckett (0 votes)

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