Derek Jeter was the clear lock in this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame class, and he’ll be joined by Larry Walker among those voted in by the BBWAA.
Derek Jeter and Larry Walker are the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 2020 class had one mortal lock, as former New York Yankees shortstop was on the ballot for the first time with a chance to join former teammate Mariano Rivera as only unanimous inductees into Cooperstown.
The former Yankee captain was easily voted in by the writers but fell one vote shy of unanimous induction, with 99.7 percent of the vote, coming in as the second-highest ever. Now the hunt begins for that lone wolf who didn’t see Jeter as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Jeter’s accolades are too long to list but you can check out this highlight package from the Yankees for a brief glimpse into the man with five World Series rings and more than 3,000 hits.
Walker was in his 10th and final year on the writer’s ballot this year, and he jumped from 54.6 percent of the vote last year to 76.6 percent this year (75 percent needed for induction). He made the cut by only six votes.
He is the second Canadian to be elected a Baseball Hall of Famer, joining Ferguson Jenkins. He won seven Gold Gloves, three batting titles, three Silver Sluggers and an NL MVP in 1997 with the Colorado Rockies.
The stigma attached to inflated offensive numbers produced at Coors Field is now gone, as Walker was clearly one of the best players of his era and a legit five-tool guy. Of particular note is the huge rise he made in just the last few years. His induction could help former teammate and Rockies first baseman, Todd Helton, eventually get in.
Walker is also the ninth former Expos player to make the Hall of Fame and could be the last for the defunct franchise.
Walker’s shirt choice when talking to MLB Network is Hall of Fame-worthy on its own.
Former player’s union leader Marvin Miller and eight-time All-Star catcher Ted Simmons were voted into the 2020 Hall of Fame class by the Modern Era Committee back in December.
Miller, who died in 2012 at age 95, was instrumental in raising player salaries and the eventual implementation of free agency. Simmons hit 248 home runs over a 21-year career.
Here’s a look at the vote:
On 70 percent of the ballots this year, Curt Schilling could be the only inductee in 2021. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds continue to edge up and Scott Rolen went from 17.2 percent in 2019 to 35.3 percent this year. Perhaps Billy Wagner can make another big leap next year and get momentum for a 2021 induction.
The 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 26.