The end of a year and the beginning of a new one are typically dominated by hot stove season in baseball, but it also counts as Hall of Fame season. This afternoon, all that kicked off with the announcement for the BBWAA ballot for the Class of 2024, which includes a number of former Yankees.
This year, Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltrán, Bartolo Colon, Matt Holliday, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, and Gary Sheffield will represent the Yankees as they vie for induction into Cooperstown next summer. Here’s the full rundown, courtesy of ballot-tracking expert Ryan Thibodaux:
This will be Colon and Holliday’s first time on the ballot, having both last played in 2018 — although it’s unlikely that either have enough of a case to get inducted at all, never mind in their first year of eligibility. That being said, it’s possible that neither of them drop off after year one.
Meanwhile, it will be Gary Sheffield’s final year on the ballot. Last year, he received 55 percent of the vote, having gained votes steadily after getting 11.7 percent in his first time back in 2014. A 20-percent increase seems like a bit too much to get in order to gain induction (especially for someone who writers have often shied away from), though Larry Walker at least paved the way for that in 2020.
The former Yankees with the best chance at getting in this year are likely Beltrán and Jones. Beltrán debuted on the ballot last year and went right to 46.5 percent. Again, that’s probably too much of a jump for one year, but debuting at that percentage probably bodes well for the future; perhaps some writers gave him a one-year penalty as a result of his involvement in the Astros’ the sign-stealing scandal. As for Jones, he jumped 17 percent in his sixth year on the ballot, getting 58.1 percent last year after notching 41.4 percent in 2022. This year might a bridge too far, but his status as one of the greatest defensive center fielders of all time should see him jump again in 2023. In recent years, there’s even been a bit of a campaign surrounding Bobby Abreu, who jumped to 15.4 percent last year.
The most beloved Yankee on the list is Andy Pettitte. Last year saw Pettitte get 17 percent in his fifth year on the ballot. The math for him getting in sometime in the next five years is against him, but he has steadily been gaining support in recent years.
Then of course, there’s the case of Alex Rodriguez.
On stats, A-Rod is a no-doubter, but his case is obviously a bit more complicated than that. After debuting with 34.3 percent in 2022, he jumped up a percentage point last year. Thanks to his history with PEDs, there’s going to be a percentage of the remaining voters that will simply never vote for him. Probably not this year, but his case will likely get very interesting in coming years.
As for the rest of the names, the headline newcomers are Adrián Beltré and Joe Mauer, among others. As a member of the 3,000 Hit Club and an all-time great defender, Beltré has a serious case for first-ballot entry, and the MVP/three-time batting champion Mauer is no slouch, either (particularly as a primary catcher). Based on last year, 2024 could very well finally be time for Colorado slugger Todd Helton, who fell just 11 votes short last year. Dominant closer Billy Wagner also came fairly close last year, getting 68 percent, so he could be another potential inductee.
Besides this ballot, the Veterans Committee nominees were released a couple weeks ago, with former Yankee player and manager Lou Piniella among the people up for consideration. The results for the BBWAA ballot will be announced on January 23rd, in a special airing live on MLB Network, and the Veterans vote will be revealed during December’s Winter Meetings.