Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, making up the 2020 class. Jeter received 99.7% of the vote, falling just one vote shy of becoming the second player to be unanimously elected. Mariano Rivera was the first a year ago.
Jeter and Walker were on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, as Jeter made it on his first time appearing on the ballot, while Walker was on his 10th and final try. They join Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, who were voted in by the Today’s Game Era ballot this past December.
Walker saw his votes increase steadily each year and despite receiving 54.6% in 2019, he jumped up to 76.6% this year to eclipse the 75% needed to be elected. He received 304 total votes, which is just six above the threshold needed.
Among the candidates who fell short of getting into the Hall of Fame this year were Curt Schilling (70.0), Roger Clemens (61.0), Barry Bonds (60.7), Omar Vizquel (52.6), Scott Rolen (35.3), Billy Wagner (31.7), Gary Sheffield (30.5), Todd Helton (29.2), Manny Ramirez (28.2), Jeff Kent (27.5), Andruw Jones (19.4), Sammy Sosa (13.9), Andy Pettitte (11.3) and Bobby Abreu (5.5).
Former Los Angeles Dodgers players Paul Konerko (2.5), Brad Penny (0.3), Rafael Furcal (0) and Josh Beckett (0) fell off future Hall of Fame ballots. So too did Jason Giambi (1.5), Alfonso Soriano (1.5), Cliff Lee (0.5) and Raul Ibanez (0.3). Five percent of the final vote is needed to remain.
Jeter spent his entire 20-year MLB career with the New York Yankees, winning five World Series championships. He was named an All-Star 14 times in addition to winning five Silver Sluggers and five Gold Gloves. He finished his career with 3,465 hits and a .310 batting average.
Walker began his 17-year career with the Montreal Expos although he spent 10 seasons with the Colorado Rockies before finishing up with the St. Louis Cardinals. The 1997 National League MVP award winner also won three batting titles, three Silver Sluggers and seven Gold Gloves. In addition to being named an All-Star five times, Walker finished his career with a .313 batting average and 383 home runs.
The induction ceremony will be held Sunday, July 26, during Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown.
Candidates who will be eligible for the first time in 2021 are Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, Torii Hunter, Dan Haren, Barry Zito and Skip Schumaker, among others. None of those former players are expected to receive much consideration, which could bode well for those who were close this year, such as Schilling, Clemens, Bonds and Vizquel.
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