A former Most Valuable Player Award winner and three-time batting champion, another batting titlist, three MVP runners-up, a Cy Young Award winner, a World Series home-run record holder and the only pitcher to total double-digit complete games in a season this century are among a group of 12 new candidates appearing on the 2024 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot that is being mailed this week to approximately 400 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Pitchers Bartolo Colon and James Shields, catcher-first baseman Joe Mauer, catcher-designated hitter Victor Martinez, second baseman Chase Utley, third baseman Adrián Beltré, shortstop José Reyes and outfielder Matt Holliday will join 14 holdovers from the 2023 balloting in which third baseman Scott Rolen was elected to the Hall of Fame. 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 and be part of Induction Weekend July 19-22, 2024, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Rolen reached that threshold by receiving 297 votes of the 389 ballots cast to account for 76.3 percent of the electorate. Falling 11 votes short of election was first baseman Todd Helton, who made a jump of more than 20 percent from 2022 with 281 votes (72.2) in his fifth year on the ballot. The only other players to gain mention on more than half the ballots were relief pitcher Billy Wagner with 265 (68.1) and outfielders Andruw Jones with 226 (58.1) and Gary Sheffield with 214 (55.0).
The 2024 election will mark Sheffield’s 10th-and-final year on the BBWAA ballot. Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they annually receive at least five percent of the vote. Other holdovers from last year’s ballot are pitchers Mark Buehrle, Andy Pettitte and Francisco Rodríguez; infielders Jimmy Rollins, Álex Rodríguez, and Omar Vizquel; and outfielders Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltrán, Torii Hunter and Manny Ramírez.
Mauer, who played in 15 major league seasons, all with the Minnesota Twins, won American League batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009, the most ever by a catcher. He was the AL MVP in that 2009 season when he hit .365 with career-high totals in home runs (28) and runs batted in (96) while becoming the first catcher in either league to lead the majors in on-base average plus slugging percentage (1.031). Mauer, who spent his final five seasons primarily at first base, is the only catcher in history with at least 2.000 hits (2,123), a .300 batting average (.306) and a .380 on-base percentage (.388).
Another batting champion on the ballot is Reyes, who led the National League in hitting with a .337 average in 2011 for the New York Mets, one of four clubs he played for over 16 seasons Among the shortstop’s 2,138 hits are 131 triples, a category he led four times. Reyes also had 517 stolen bases and scored 1,180 runs. Beltré, who spent 21 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, and Texas Rangers, finished second in the 2004 NL MVP race to Barry Bonds. The five-time Gold Glove winner played 2,759 of his 2,933 career games at third base, second only to the 2,870 by Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. On career lists, Beltre ranks ninth in at-bats (11,068), 11th in doubles (636), 15th in total bases (5,309), 15th in extra base hits (1,151), 18th in hits (3,166), 25th in RBI (1,707) and 31st in home runs (477).
Martinez, a .295 hitter with five 100-plus RBI seasons through 16 years with Cleveland, Boston, and Detroit, finished second to Mike Trout for AL MVP in 2014 for the Tigers, when he led the league in on-base percentage (.409), OPS (.974) and intentional walks (28) while batting .335 with 32 home runs and 103 RBI. Holliday, a .299 hitter with 316 home runs and 1,220 RBI in 15 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees, was the runner-up to Rollins for the NL MVP Award in 2007. That year Holliday led the league in hits (216), doubles (50), RBI (137), total bases (386) and batting (.340). He topped off that year by being named MVP of the NL Championship Series after hitting .333 with two homers and four RBI in the Rockies’ sweep of Arizona. The seven-time All-Star was a member of the 2011 Cardinals’ World Series champions.
Another World Series champ on the ballot is Utley, who won a ring with the Phillies in 2008. The next year, in Philadelphia’s loss to the Yankees, Utley cracked five home runs, a World Series mark he shares with only two others, Reggie Jackson (1977) and George Springer (2017). Utley also played for the Dodgers in a 16-year career during which the six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger winner topped the 100-runs scored mark four times, 100-RBI mark four times and 20-HR plateau five times and led NL second basemen in putouts four times and assists twice.
Colon, who pitched for 11 different franchises over 21 seasons, was the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2005 for the Los Angeles Angels when he was 21-8 with a 3.48 earned run average. It was one of two 20-victory seasons for Colon, who also reached the 15-victory plateau nine times as part of a 247-188, 4.12-ERA career. He was on pennant winning teams with Cleveland in 1997 and the Mets in 2015. Colon made headlines a year later when at the age of 43 he hit the only home run of his 326 career plate appearances. Shields, who had a 145-139 record with a 4.01 ERA in 13 seasons with four clubs, was 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 when he led the majors in complete games with 11 (including four shutouts). It marked the most recent season a pitcher has recorded double-digit complete games and the only time in the 21st century.
Also new to the ballot are first baseman Adrián González, second baseman Brandon Phillips, third baseman David Wright and outfielder José Bautista. González, a five-time All-Star who won four Gold Glove and two Silver Slugger awards, led the NL in RBI and walks once apiece and the AL in hits once and averaged 159 games played over an 11-season stretch (2006-16). Phillips, whose career fielding percentage (.9875) ranks 23rd all-time among second basemen, is one of only six second basemen in history with at least 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases. Wright, a .296 hitter over 14 seasons, all with the Mets, drove in more than 100 runs five times and is one of only four third basemen in history (along with Hall of Famers George Brett, Chipper Jones, and Mike Schmidt) with at least 350 doubles, 200 homers and 150 stolen bases. Bautista, who smashed 344 home runs overall, led the AL in homers in consecutive seasons with 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011 for the Toronto Blue Jays and won the AL Hank Aaron Award both years.
Voters must return ballots by a Dec. 31 postmark. Votes are counted jointly by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell and Ernst & Young partner Mark Moran. Results will be announced by Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch at 6 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, live on MLB Network. A media availability with any electees will be held at 12 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
2024 Hall of Fame ballot
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