The Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed one new member into their ranks on Tuesday–longtime Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. Big Papi met the 75% threshold in his first year on the ballot. This year’s ballot was filled with controversial nominees, many of whom were in their last year of eligibility. Ultimately, only Ortiz will head to Cooperstown later this year.
David Ortiz Makes Hall of Fame
Ortiz appeared on 307 of 394 BBWAA ballots, good for 77.9% of the vote. His enshrinement in Cooperstown will come on July 24 alongside the inductees from the Golden Days Committee and Early Baseball Era Committee: Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Buck O’Neil, Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, and Bud Fowler.
Big Papi split his 20-year career between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, but there is no question that his tenure in Boston is what got him into the Hall. 483 of his 541 career homers, 1,530 of his 1,768 RBIs, and all 10 of his All-Star appearances came after he signed with the Red Sox in 2003. His clutch performances in October helped the Red Sox to three World Series titles following an 86-year curse. Needless to say, he is a living legend in Boston. His plaque in Cooperstown will almost certainly feature him wearing a Red Sox cap.
Bonds, Clemens Among Snubs
A long list of notable names failed to reach the 75% threshold this year. Most prominently, neither Barry Bonds nor Roger Clemens got in. In their final year of eligibility, Bonds pulled in 66% of the vote and Clemens received 65.2%. These were the second and third-highest vote totals, respectively, but both fell well short of the requirement. After nearly getting in last year, Curt Schilling dropped sharply in his last year on the ballot, going from 71.1% to 58.6%. All three are eligible to appear on the Today’s Game Committee ballot in December.
Scott Rolen (63.2%) and Todd Helton (52%) each moved up from last year, and appear to be on a trajectory for eventual induction. Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez received a measly 34.3% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. Depending on how quickly he moves up, his Hall of Fame case could become a major yearly debate.
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