The Baseball Hall of Fame revealed their 2021 ballot, with ten new players added to the ballot, including outfielder Torii Hunter and pitchers Tim Hudson, Mark Buerhle, and Barry Zito. None of the newcomers to the ballot are likely to be slam-dunk choices, and may not even receive serious consideration, which could give a better chance to some of the holdovers on the ballot.
Among the holdovers are controversial candidates such as pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, and outfielders Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, all up for the ninth year. Schilling has been the closest, getting on 70 percent of ballot last year, but was a borderline case and has hurt his cause with inflammatory political statements since retiring. Clemens, Bonds, and Sosa all have PED suspicions around their careers, although Clemens and Bonds still managed to get over 60 percent of the vote last year.
The controversy over those nominees could open the door for shortstop Omar Vizquel, who has seen a surprising push for his candidacy in recent years. Vizquel was just a three-time All-Star and had just 45 career WAR, but was an 11-time Gold Glove winner and collected 2,877 hits. He received 52.6 percent of the vote last year.
Other holdover candidates include first baseman Todd Helton (3rd year on the ballot), second baseman Jeff Kent (8th), third baseman Scott Rolen (4th), outfielders Bobby Abreu (2nd), Andruw Jones (4th), Manny Ramirez (5th), and Gary Sheffield (7th), and pitchers Andy Pettitte (3rd) and Billy Wagner (6th).
Other first time players on the ballot include third baseman Aramis Ramirez, outfielders Michael Cuddyer, Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino, pitchers A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, and Barry Zito. No Royals are on the ballot this year, although outfielder Alex Rios was eligible for the first time. To be on the ballot, a player must have played at least ten years, must have been retired for five full season, and be placed on the ballot by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz are the only candidates likely to receive serious consideration on the 2022 ballot.
Players must be on 75 percent of all ballots to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Players must be on at least 5 percent of all ballots to be considered beyond this year. Voters have until the end of the year to submit ballots, with results to be announced on January 26.
Who would be on your ballot?