Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, two batting champions, a Most Valuable Player Award winner, a multi-record-holding postseason pitcher, a pesky leadoff hitter and an infielder with the highest career fielding percentage at two positions are among 20 new candidates on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot that is being mailed this week to more than 400 voting members of the BBWAA.
Results will be announced by Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson on Jan. 22, 2019, live on MLB Network.
Pitchers Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay and Andy Pettitte; infielders Todd Helton, Michael Young, Miguel Tejada and Placido Polanco and outfielder Juan Pierre will join 15 holdovers from the 2018 balloting in which infielders Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election. Falling 20 votes shy of the required total for election last year was third baseman-designated hitter Edgar Martinez, who in his ninth year of eligibility polled 297 votes (70.4 percent). Also named on more than half the ballots were pitchers Mike Mussina (63.5) and Roger Clemens (57.3), outfielder Barry Bonds (56.4) and pitcher Curt Schilling (51.2).
Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote. Martinez and first baseman Fred McGriff are on the ballot for their 10th and final time. Other holdovers from the 2018 ballot are pitcher Billy Wagner, second baseman Jeff Kent, third baseman Scott Rolen, shortstop Omar Vizquel and outfielders Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa and Larry Walker.
Rivera spent all 19 of his major-league seasons with the New York Yankees, was a key figure in five World Series championships and set career records in saves (652) and games finished (952) and shares the mark with Hoffman for most seasons with 40 or more saves (9). The Panama native known to teammates and fans as “Mo” also holds the all-time postseason records for lowest earned run average (0.70), games pitched (96) and saves (42) and World Series records for games pitched (24) and saves (11). Rivera was 8-1 over 32 postseason series, including seven World Series. He was the MVP of the 1999 World Series and the 2003 American League Championship Series. A 13-time All-Star selection, Rivera was the MVP of the 2013 game at New York’s Citi Field. His 2.21 career ERA ranks 13th among pitchers whose careers started after 1910. He allowed only 11 earned runs in 141 postseason innings. The AL award for relievers is named for Rivera, who was the last player to wear uniform No. 42, which was retired in perpetuity in honor of Jackie Robinson in 1997.
Halladay, who was killed piloting an aircraft in 2017 at the age of 40, won Cy Young Awards in both leagues, with the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL in 2003 and with the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League in 2010. He also was the runner-up for the award twice. In a career that covered 16 seasons, the righthander led his league in complete games seven times, strikeout-to-walk ratio five times, shutouts four times, innings pitched four times and victories twice. Among pitchers active since 1998, Halladay’s 67 complete games are the most in the majors, 13 more than runner-up Randy Johnson. He is one of only six pitchers with at least 200 victories and a .650 winning percentage among pitchers whose careers began in 1900 or later. Halladay pitched a perfect game May 29, 2010 against the Miami Marlins. Five months later, he pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, one of only two no-hitters in postseason history.
Pettitte, a 256-game winner with a 3.85 ERA over 18 seasons with the Yankees and the Houston Astros, pitched in 32 postseason series, including eight World Series. The lefthander posted a 19-11 record with a 3.81 ERA in 44 postseason starts and was the MVP of the 2001 ALCS. In addition to victories, Pettitte holds career postseason records for innings pitched (276 2/3) and games started (44) and is second in strikeouts (183).
Helton, whose entire 17-season career was spent with the Colorado Rockies, won the NL batting title with a .372 average in 2000, the same year that he topped the league in hits (216), doubles (59), total bases (405) and runs batted in (147). He is one of only seven players in history with at least two seasons (2000 and ’01) of 400 or more total bases. The five-time All-Star first baseman won three Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards. The .316 career hitter totaled 2,519 hits and had nearly the same amount of runs (1,401) as RBI (1,406) with more walks (1,335) than strikeouts (1,175).
Young was a career .300 hitter over 14 seasons, mostly for the Texas Rangers and briefly with the Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had six seasons of 200 or more hits, including a career-high 221 in 2005 when he won the AL batting title with a .331 average. The seven-time All-Star roamed all over the infield (793 games at shortstop, 465 at third base and 448 at second base) and won a Gold Glove at shortstop.
Young was the MVP of the 2006 All-Star Game at Pittsburgh.
Tejada was the AL MVP with the Oakland Athletics in 2002, one of his six All-Star seasons. He was the All-Star Game MVP in 2005 at Detroit. Also playing for five other clubs over 16 seasons, Tejada led his league in games played five times and played in 1,152 consecutive games from 2002-07, the fifth-longest streak in history. He had three seasons of 200 or more hits and six years of 100 or more RBI, including a career-high 150 in 2004, his first season in Baltimore. Tejada led his league in assists among shortstops seven times.
Polanco, a .297 career hitter in a 16-season career with the Phillies, Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers, won two Gold Glove Awards as a second baseman and one as a third baseman, the only player to win awards at two infield positions. In addition, Polanco owns the highest career fielding percentages among qualified fielders at those positions: .993 at second base and .983 at third base. He was the MVP of the 2006 ALCS in the Tigers’ pennant-winning victory over the A’s.
Pierre, whose 614 stolen bases rank 18th on the all-time list, was a leadoff hitter in 82 percent of his games and banged out 2,217 hits in 14 seasons with the Rockies, Marlins, Dodgers, Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. He had 200 or more hits in four seasons, scored 100 or more runs three times and led the league in at-bat-per-strikeout ratio eight times, games played five times, sacrifice hits four times, stolen bases three times, at-bats three times, hits twice and triples once. Pierre was the catalyst on the Marlins’ 2003 World Series champs.
Filling out the ballot are pitchers Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver and Roy Oswalt; outfielders Jason Bay, Lance Berkman and Vernon Wells; infielder Kevin Youkilis; designated hitter-first baseman Travis Hafner and pitcher-outfielder Rick Ankiel.
2019 Hall of Fame ballot
|Name||2018 votes||Percentage||Current year on ballot|