Voting results were announced Tuesday for the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame class, with third baseman Adrián Beltré, catcher Joe Mauer, and first baseman Todd Helton leading the balloting in their first year of eligibility.
Overview of Voting Results
The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voting results were announced live on MLB Network Tuesday evening. To gain election to the Hall of Fame, a player must be named on at least 75% of ballots cast by eligible BBWAA members.
This year, Beltré received 97.8% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. Mauer finished at 93.1%, while Helton came in at 87.2%. Longtime closer Billy Wagner also performed strongly in his eighth year on the ballot at 76.3%. No other player cleared the 75% threshold for election.
|Year on Ballot
Beltré, Mauer, and Helton will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 30th in Cooperstown, New York. Wagner fell just short but seems likely to gain election next year in his final year of eligibility.
Beltré’s First Ballot Case
The 2024 Hall of Fame class is headlined by Adrián Beltré, widely considered one of the best all-around third basemen in MLB history. Beltré put together a 20-year career between 1998-2017, hitting .286 with 477 home runs and 1,707 RBIs. He was a four-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger winner known for his elite defense, highlighted by five Gold Glove awards.
Beltré spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers, establishing himself early on as an All-Star before reaching his peak years in Texas. From 2011-2014 with the Rangers, Beltré hit .314 while averaging 33 home runs and 105 RBIs per season, twice finishing in the top three of AL MVP voting. He hit at least 20 home runs in his final 15 seasons and surpassed 30 eight times.
According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, “No eligible third baseman with Beltré’s numbers has ever missed getting elected. And his 97.8 percent vote total is the seventh-highest ever for any first-year candidate.” Beltré was a clear-cut, first-ballot Hall of Famer for voters, validating his place among the all-time great third basemen like Mike Schmidt and Chipper Jones.
Mauer Dominant as Twins Catcher
Like Beltré, Joe Mauer immediately stated his Hall of Fame case in his first year on the ballot after a stellar 15-year career spent entirely with the Minnesota Twins. Mauer debuted in 2004 as a highly touted catching prospect and delivered on expectations by winning three batting titles and the 2009 AL MVP during a six-year stretch of dominance from 2006-2010.
Though injuries later forced a move to first base, Mauer produced great value throughout his Twins tenure as an excellent contact hitter and on-base threat. He recorded six seasons with a .300+ batting average and led the AL in on-base percentage three times, ultimately finishing with a career .306 average and .388 OBP. Mauer’s defense also earned him three Gold Gloves behind the plate.
According to Ryan Fagan of Sporting News, “His peak was outstanding, he contributed value throughout the entirety of his career and he compares well historically to Hall of Fame catchers.” The voters clearly agreed, electing Mauer decisively alongside longtime teammate Justin Morneau, who gained entrance in 2023 on his final ballot.
Helton Powers Way In
Todd Helton completes the 2024 Hall of Fame class after a highly productive 17-year run at first base for the Colorado Rockies. Helton debuted in 1997 and became the franchise cornerstone, making five All-Star teams while winning three Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. His best season came in 2000 when he led the NL in hits (216), RBI (147), doubles (59) and total bases (405).
A standout on offense throughout his peak, Helton batted over .300 in 10 seasons while showing good power by launching 369 home runs. Playing his home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field certainly boosted Helton’s numbers, but his complete body of work won over voters regardless. He joins former Rockies teammate Larry Walker, elected in 2020, representing Colorado’s early years in the Hall.
Near Misses This Year
Headlining the near misses this ballot were longtime reliever Billy Wagner and former sluggers Gary Sheffield and Andruw Jones. Wagner reached 76.3% of the vote in his eighth year under consideration. The seven-time All-Star ranks sixth all-time with 422 career saves and figures to sail in next year on his final attempt.
Sheffield jumped to 66.5% in his tenth year on the writers’ ballot, suggesting the former MVP still has a strong chance of eventual election by the writers. Jones also gained support at 51.4% in his eighth year under consideration, but faces a tougher road ahead to rise from that plateau.
Other returning candidates failing to reach the 75% mark include Jeff Kent (57.3%), Scott Rolen (52.2%), and Omar Vizquel (41.5%). First-year eligible Jimmy Rollins (12.1%), Francisco Rodríguez (8.7%), and Ryan Howard (5.2%) earned minimal support this year.
With Beltré, Mauer and Helton gaining election, attention now shifts to some intriguing holdover candidates on next year’s ballot, headlined by Carlos Beltrán. The 2023 voting also figures to finalize Wagner’s own push for induction in his tenth and final year under BBWAA consideration. Other interesting first-time names debuting in 2025 include Adrián González and John Lackey.
This year’s voting indicates the BBWAA electorate maintains relatively high standards for Hall of Fame entry, but continues to reward elite peak production even within shorter careers for players like Mauer. The voters are also clearly willing to support special cases who dominated in the high-offense era, demonstrated by Gary Sheffield nearly reaching the threshold this year. It all sets the stage for some fascinating storylines to follow when the next Hall of Fame debate begins anew.
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