Three new Hall of Famers

Congratulations all around.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot boom was back in a big way with the announcement of a three-person Class of 2024 on Tuesday night.

Masterful third baseman Adrián Beltré and decorated Twins catcher Joe Mauer both achieved entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on their first BBWAA ballot, while power-hitting Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was elected on his sixth try, in results revealed on MLB Network.

The BBWAA-elected trio will join Contemporary Baseball Era Committee electee Jim Leyland in an induction ceremony to be held on July 21 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“It’s something I never even dreamed of,” said Beltré, who joked about letting the Hall’s call go to voicemail when he was given the news. “I can’t even believe I’m going to be on the same podium with those guys.”

Players must have their names checked by at least 75% of ballots submitted. Beltré had 95.1% support, Helton reached 79.7%, and Mauer, at 76.1%, made it by just four votes. Closer Billy Wagner (73.8%) fell just five votes shy of entry and will have his last chance in 2025.

Slugger Gary Sheffield (63.9%) was not able to get the requisite support in his 10th and final try. But two other players — center fielders Andruw Jones (61.6% on his seventh ballot) and Carlos Beltrán (57.1% on his second ballot) — finished above 50%, continuing to build support that could get them in on future ballots.

The election of Beltré, a member of the 400-homer club and one of the best defensive third basemen of all time, was seen as a foregone conclusion. But with several holdovers trending upward and Mauer also reaching eligibility and faring well in public ballot tracking, there was an influx of intrigue to a writers’ voting process that had netted a grand total of two new Cooperstown entrants in the previous three years (David Ortiz in 2022 and Scott Rolen in 2023).

“Very emotional,” Mauer said of his election. “Obviously leading up to today, you reflect on all the people who have an impact on your career and who you are as a man. A lot of emotions. It’s been a whirlwind, that’s for sure.”

Helton had to wait a while longer, having first appeared on the 2019 ballot. He pumped his fist when the awaited call finally came through.

“I was pretty nervous,” Helton said. “I really didn’t think the phone was going to ring. When it rang, I was still in shock.”

See here for more on Jim Leyland. I’m happy for the three honorees, sad that Gary Sheffield didn’t make it, and expect Billy Wagner to get there next year. And I’m ready for pitchers and catchers to report. Here’s the Hall of Fame’s own report, and Fangraphs has more.

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One Response to Three new Hall of Famers

  1. Bill Kelly says:

    I need to hear everyone running for office on Billy Wagner’s HOF vote.

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