Derek Jeter’s storied baseball career is now headed where everybody expected. And Larry Walker is headed where some — even him — never thought he’d make it.
In his first year on the ballot, Jeter was elected to the Hall of Fame by voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America. The only question about Jeter was whether he’d get 100 percent of the vote like Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera did last year.
He was close, missing out on just one ballot, finishing at 99.7 percent. That gives Jeter the second-highest vote total ever.
Walker, meanwhile, is in after finally getting the necessary votes in his final year on the ballot. Walker finished at 76.6%, making a jump of more than 15 percent from last year and harnessing the same type of final-year magic that helped Edgar Martinez and Tim Raines getting into the Hall of Fame.
Curt Schilling was next closest with 70%, but fell just short. Players need 75% of the votes for induction.
Other notable results: The most controversial names on the ballot, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, fell short again. Bonds finished at 60.7%. Clemens was at 61%. The next highest finishers were Omar Vizquel (52.6%), Scott Rolen (35.3%) and Billy Wagner (31.7%).
Jeter and Walker will be inducted along with Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller in Cooperstown on July 26.
Jeter misses history by just one vote
There was no doubt that Jeter would get in, the only question was whether he’d get 100 percent of the vote, or if a voter out there would leave him off to make a point.
Before Rivera got 100 percent last year, the closest anyone had come to 100 percent was Ken Griffey Jr. with 99.3 percent. He missed three ballots. Before that, it was Tom Seaver who held the record with 98.84 percent in 1992.
Jeter’s 99.7 is historic, but missing 100 percent by one vote will be a talking point for the next 24 hours. Or longer.
Walker elected in his final year
Larry Walker was hoping for a bit of final-year magic in his 10th year on the writers’ ballot. Tim Raines and Edgar Martinez had both been propelled into Cooperstown with that last-year bump in recent years. Add Walker to the list.
He made it by just six votes. Walker didn’t think this was coming, posting a tweet earlier in the day saying that he thought he wouldn’t get in but thanking people for their support.
Although I believe I’m going to come up a little short today I still wanna thank all you that have been pulling for me and showing your support. I’m grateful for all of you! It’s been fun leading up to today reading everyone’s thoughts. Cheers 🍻 LW— Larry Walker (@Cdnmooselips33) January 21, 2020
Now he has something else to toast to.
The controversial cases: Bonds, Clemens, Schilling
Out of the controversial cases on the ballot, Curt Schilling has moved the closest to election. His 70% represents a jump from 60.9. He could be close enough to get in next year.
Bonds and Clemens didn’t jump as much. Bonds (60.7% this year) was at 59.1 last year, while Clemens (61% this year) was at 59.5 last year.
Schilling, Bonds and Clemens each have two more years on the ballot. Generally speaking, if someone gets 70 percent, there’s a good chance he makes it the next year, so that bodes well for Schilling.
The rest of the Hall of Fame ballot
Here’s the entirety of how the players on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot finished:
• Derek Jeter - 99.7%
• Larry Walker - 76.6%
• Curt Schilling - 70%
• Roger Clemens - 61%
• Barry Bonds - 60.7%
• Omar Vizquel - 52.6%
• Scott Rolen - 35.3%
• Billy Wagner - 31.7%
• Gary Sheffield - 30.5%
• Todd Helton - 29.2%
• Manny Ramirez - 28.2%
• Jeff Kent - 27.5%
• Andruw Jones - 19.4%
• Sammy Sosa - 13.9%
• Andy Pettitte - 11.3%
• Bobby Abreu - 5.5%
• Paul Konerko - 2.5%
• Cliff Lee - 0.5%
• Jason Giambi - 1.5%
• Alfonso Soriano - 1.5%
• Eric Chávez - 0.5%
• Adam Dunn - 0.3%
• Brad Penny - 0.3%
• JJ Putz - 0.3%
• Rafael Furcal - 0%
• Josh Beckett - 0%
• Heath Bell - 0%
• Chone Figgins - 0%
• Raúl Ibañez - 0%
• Carlos Peña - 0%
• Brian Roberts - 0%
• José Valverde - 0%
Any player who received more than five percent of the vote will stay on the ballot for next year. Those who finished under five percent are now off the ballot.
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