Jeter could be unan­i­mous pick

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By RON­ALD BLUM

When it comes to unan­i­mous picks for base­ball’s Hall of Fame, Derek Jeter quite ap­pro­pri­ately has the chance to be No. 2. Yan­kees closer Mar­i­ano Rivera be­came the first player to ap­pear on ev­ery bal­lot when he swept 425 votes in last year’s elec­tion. Ken Grif­fey Jr. was three votes short per­fec­tion in 2016, break­ing the mark of five shy that had been held since 1992 by Tom Seaver.

NEW YORK — When it comes to unan­i­mous picks for base­ball’s Hall of Fame, Derek Jeter quite ap­pro­pri­ately has the chance to be No. 2.

Yan­kees closer Mar­i­ano Rivera be­came the first player to ap­pear on ev­ery bal­lot when he swept 425 votes in last year’s elec­tion. Ken Grif­fey Jr. was three votes short per­fec­tion in 2016, break­ing the mark of five shy that had been held since 1992 by Tom Seaver.

Bill Mad­den, the long­time New York Daily News base­ball writer, said at­ti­tudes had changed and Rivera’s per­for­mance could lead to more 100% re­sults from the Base­ball Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, whose 2020 votes are an­nounced Tues­day.

“No­body wants to be branded or held ac­count­able on so­cial me­dia if they’re not vot­ing for an ob­vi­ous se­lec­tion,” Mad­den said Mon­day. “I could see peo­ple’s lives be­ing threat­ened if they didn’t vote for Derek Jeter.”

Jeter was picked by all 210 vot­ers tab­u­lated through late Mon­day evening by Ryan Thi­bo­daux’s Hall of Fame vote tracker, about half the ex­pected ballots. A 14-time All-Star short­stop who hit .310, Jeter led New York to five World Se­ries ti­tles and cap­tained the Yan­kees for his fi­nal 11 1/2 sea­sons. New York re­tired No. 2 in his honor, but Jeter has strug­gled for suc­cess in his post-play­ing days as CEO of the of the Mi­ami Mar­lins.

Larry Walker, who hit 383 homers in a ca­reer boosted by nearly a decade of home games in the launch­ing pad of Den­ver’s Coors Field, was at 175 (83.3%). Curt Schilling, a three-time World Se­ries cham­pion for Ari­zona and Bos­ton, was next at 166 (79%). While Walker and Schilling were thus far above the 75% thresh­old needed for elec­tion, percentage­s usu­ally de­cline among the non-pub­lic ballots.

At­ti­tudes have changed since the ini­tial Hall vote in 1936, when Ty Cobb was left off four ballots, Babe Ruth and Honus Wag­ner were omit­ted from 11, Christy Mathew­son from 21 and Wal­ter John­son from 37.

Joe DiMag­gio re­ceived one vote in 1945 af­ter the sec­ond of three sea­sons he missed while serv­ing in the U.S. Army Air Forces, fell short in his first two bal­lot ap­pear­ances af­ter re­tire­ment and was elected in 1955, when 28 vot­ers left him off. Yogi Berra was elected in his sec­ond ap­pear­ance in 1972 af­ter miss­ing by 28 votes in his first try. Wil­lie Mays was deemed un­wor­thy by 23 vot­ers when he was elected in 1979, and 52 by­passed Sandy

Ko­ufax when he was voted to the Hall in 1972.

John Thorn, Major League Base­ball’s of­fi­cial his­to­rian, called last year’s elec­tion a prece­dent.

“Mar­i­ano was the very best at what he did. Derek Jeter will not be the very best at what he did,” Thorn said. “The mean­ing­ful­ness of Mar­i­ano achiev­ing una­nim­ity just tes­ti­fies to a herd men­tal­ity.”

Walker is on the BBWAA bal­lot for the 10th and fi­nal time af­ter im­prov­ing from 34.1% in 2018 to 54.6% last year.

Schilling is mak­ing his eighth ap­pear­ance af­ter go­ing up from 51.2% to 60.9%. He dropped from 52.3% in 2016 to 45% the fol­low­ing year and claimed his sup­port dropped be­cause he pub­licly sup­ported the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump for pres­i­dent.

Barry Bonds and Roger Cle­mens, both tainted by ac­cu­sa­tions of steroids use, also are on for their eighth time. Each re­ceived just over onethird of the vote in his first ap­pear­ances in 2013 and both were at about 59% last year. Bonds was at 71.9% on this year’s vote-tracker and Cle­mens at 71%.

Manny Ramírez, sus­pended twice un­der Major League Base­ball’s drug pro­gram, was at 31.4% on the vote-tracker. Sammy Sosa, an­other steroids-tainted star, was at 17.1%.

Bonds and Cle­mens could ben­e­fit next year, when the most prom­i­nent play­ers el­i­gi­ble for the first time are Torii Hunter and Mark Buehrle.

The 2022 bal­lot will in­clude David Or­tiz and Alex Ro­driguez, who served a sea­son-long sus­pen­sion in 2014 for vi­o­la­tions of the drug pro­gram and base­ball’s col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment. Join­ing the bal­lot in 2023 is newly tainted Car­los Bel­trán, who quit as New York Mets man­ager last week af­ter he was im­pli­cated in us­ing elec­tron­ics to steal signs with Hous­ton in 2017, his fi­nal sea­son as a player.

“It seems to me that as the older vot­ers get lopped off the list be­cause they haven’t cov­ered a base­ball game in decades,” Thorn said, “it makes the per­cep­tions sharper so that younger vot­ers are go­ing to have at­ti­tudes that per­mit them to vote for Bonds or Cle­mens or Sosa or Schilling or any num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als with pre­sumed black marks against their record.”

Play­ers elected by the BBWAA will be in­ducted on July 26 at the Hall in Coop­er­stown, New York, along with catcher Ted Sim­mons and for­mer play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion head Marvin Miller, who were voted in last month by the Hall’s Mod­ern Era Com­mit­tee.

FI­NAL GAME HERO­ICS The Yan­kees’ Derek Jeter jumps af­ter hit­ting the game-win­ning sin­gle against the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles in the ninth in­ning on Sept. 25, 2014.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.