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On Sunday, July 21st, the National Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed in six new inductees: Starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina, relief pitchers Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith, outfielder Harold Baines and designated hitter Edgar Martinez. After the celebrations been had though, thoughts race about how who will receive the call to be inducted in next year’s class.
The 2020 Hall of Fame ballot is being seen as the beginning of a darker cloud as many players that could get in are linked to performance enhancing drugs and the ones that could benefit from that, really aren’t hall of fame worthy. There’s definitely a lock for next years class but it’s going to be the strangest class since 2013 when nobody was elected. Still, it’s time for an early look into next year’s class and who could get in.
Will Get In
New York Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter
Anyone that says that Derek Jeter won’t be a first ballot hall of famer is crazy. Perhaps the face of baseball in the 2000’s, “The Captain” was the most well known and respected player of his time. He was also the face of baseball’s most well known franchise.
If all of that wasn’t enough, add to it that he was a member of the 3,000 hit club. Of the 32 players to be apart of that club, only seven have not been elected into the hall of fame; five are not eligible ye t(including Jeter), ones been banned from baseball and one missed out due to steroids. If Jeter doesn’t get in, then the baseball writers made a serious mistake.
Should Get In
Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling
In this past vote, Curt Schilling came up just 14.1% of the vote short to receive induction. However, given that the four who received the vote were nearly locks (except Mike Mussina), it’s hard to get the necessary votes for it. Schilling had the most votes not to get in, so he could be getting in soon.
One of the big things that could keep the 2004 postseason hero out of Cooperstown is his political affiliation. While politics shouldn’t affect someones eligibility, given his work with Breitbart, he may miss out again.
Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder Larry Walker
Larry Walker has five years to climb the ranks in votes and strangely enough, he’s closing in on the right amount. With writers still split on whether or not to induct PED users, Walker could climb the board faster than expected. However, he’ll need another year or two before becoming a major contender in the votes.
Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants Outfielder Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds had the numbers to get into the hall of fame before leaving Pittsburgh for San Francisco, which is where most people pinpoint where he started using steroids. The problem is, a lot of writers still feel passionate that what he did has tarnished the game and that he shouldn’t get in; so he’ll probably be close but no cigar.
Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens
Like Bonds, Roger Clemens put up really good numbers in the first few years but was alleged to have used steroids. Clemens may have a better chance having won a lawsuit that cleared him of six counts of lying to court about his denial of steroid use but the writers are leery still may keep him out.
Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel
Perhaps baseball’s best defensive shortstop of his time, Omar Vizquel keeps inching closer and closer to being a hall of famer. He had the third most hits at the position, only behind Honus Wagner and Derek Jeter, as well as had the most sacrifice hits in the live-ball era. The problem is the Hall of Fame doesn’t always recognize defensive players unless they hit well and while he had some impressive feats at the plate, his .272 average and 80 home runs aren’t that appealing to voters.