The results of the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame vote were just announced on MLB Network, and the writers of the BBWAA have elected former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to Cooperstown. This was essentially one of two realistic outcomes with more effective guesswork made possible by Ryan Thibodaux and his ballot-tracking team. Players needed 75 percent of the BBWAA vote for enshrinement. Ortiz will join Veterans Committee selections Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges, Bud Fowler, and Buck O’Neil in the 2022 class.
In Ortiz’s first year of eligibility, he received the highest ballot share at 77.9 percent, with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens faring the best among the rest of the candidates at 66 percent and 65.2 percent, respectively. Although Bonds and Clemens were two of the greatest players in baseball history (and made PSA’s own large 2022 class), their connections to PEDs were too great for the voting bloc to collectively overcome; once again, private ballots sunk them below the required threshold. As this was their 10th year on the ballot, they are now no longer eligible, and any future candidacies must be kicked down the road to a future Veterans Committee. Given the enablers already honored without issue, it’s a shame if you ask me, but whatever.
A couple other players maxed out their BBWAA eligibilities as well and must also answer to a future Veterans Committee: Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa. After coming 16 votes shy of induction in 2021, Schilling had asked the Hall of Fame to take him off the ballot, and while Cooperstown refused, plenty of writers understandably obliged. (If you think 10 other players are also worthy of a vote, why cast one for a man who doesn’t even want it?) Sosa, meanwhile, was beloved in his time and one of the best home run hitters to ever step in a batter’s box, but his own PED connections combined with an inferior case to Bonds and Clemens, preventing him from ever topping 19 percent.
Notable to Yankees fans is that Alex Rodriguez garnered just 34.3 percent in his BBWAA voting debut. Like Bonds and Clemens, his statistical case is obvious, but actual PED suspensions will no doubt continue to work against him during a likely 10-year ballot stay of his own. Fan favorite Andy Pettitte is also still hanging in there, earning 10.7 percent to remain above the 5-percent minimum needed to stay on the ballot, though again nowhere close to induction. Mark Teixeira was not as lucky, and is one of several other first-year candidates who will not be returning in 2023 (along with Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa, and second-year candidate Tim Hudson).
As for the remaining players, strong statistical candidates Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, and Andruw Jones resumed their gradual ascents. Each made great strides in 2021, and in 2022, they notched 63.2 percent, 52 percent, and 41.1 percent of the vote, respectively. They each have a pretty solid shot at earning induction within the next few years. Flamethrowing closer Billy Wagner (51 percent) is further along in their ballot eligibility, but he inched closer to potential induction, too. Gary Sheffield remained stagnant at 40.6 percent once again.
The only other mildly significant tidbit is that Omar Vizquel’s disgusting lawsuits have seemingly torpedoed his fringe Hall of Fame case. After sitting around 50 percent in each of the last couple cycles, he dropped like an anvil to 23.9 percent in his fifth year on the ballot. The full results are below:
Next up in 2023: The ripple effects of the 2017 Astros scandal hit the ballot as the otherwise-quite worthy Carlos Beltrán becomes eligible for the first time. There’s always something with these BBWAA ballots, huh?
We’re not fully done with Hall of Fame coverage, though. The PSA staff voted, but we wanted to hear the community’s collective thoughts on the ballot, as well. The votes are in, and only one player hit 75 percent of the 125 votes: Roger Clemens.
It’s a little odd that there’s not a huge difference between Bonds and Clemens’ Hall of Fame cases and that only Clemens got the honor (just barely, at 76 percent) while Bonds fell seven votes behind. However, this is a Yankees site, so that obvious factor can’t be overlooked. There’s always a very slight disparity in their BBWAA results, too.
The 2009 playoff hero A-Rod came next-closest to virtual induction at 63.2 percent, while Ortiz, Pettitte, and Helton were fresh on his heels above 50 percent. Pettitte will always get the love from Yankees Universe, and I don’t blame anyone for feeling sentimental about him. Hell, former ESPN writer Sam Miller outlined a pretty decent case for him anyway in 2020.
Anyway, here’s a sample of some of the comments from the survey participants:
- “Once I made the decision to ignore steroids, then any player with magic numbers gets in” - BBWC Fan
- “Just cannot vote for Ortiz but he should get in” - born in the bronx
- “Would vote for Abreu, Buehrle, Hunter, Nathan, Pettitte, Rollins on a non-crowded ballot” - Respondent No. 2
- “Most of these guys that have PED connections were still dominant ball players and it is silly to keep them out. (I also threw in a little Yankees bias in my votes, seeing as how they are the best ballclub on planet Earth!!!! #ShowyourballotMrJeter99%)” - Respondent No. 10
- “Yes. Sosa is voted in on the premise of “If we’re letting the known PED users in, Sosa deserves it”. Wagner is in for being one of the all-time great relief pitchers. And the only reason I’m not penalizing the cheating is that Selig enabled it. If it didn’t bother MLB (until it got publicly embarrassing) it won’t bother me.” - Bellomy150
- “I’m sure I’m in the minority, but anyone who sniffs of steroid use (Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, Ortiz, Manny, Sosa, et al) does not get my vote.” - Respondent No. 62
- “At the beginning of this era PED use was “tolerated”, not sure if only the players are to blame. Suspicions all around and probably justifiable, but there are getting my vote.” - MDG92