Wagner’s Hall of Fame Destiny: Close Call on 2024 Ballot, Next Year is His Ultimate Shot

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The results of the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame vote are in, revealing the new inductees and shedding light on the fate of other notable players. Jim Leyland has been elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era committee, while Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer were selected by the BBWAA.

While the focus has been on the inductees, it is worth delving into the rest of the voting results. One player catching attention is Billy Wagner, who received 73.8% of the vote, falling just short of the 75% needed for induction. However, history suggests that players who come close to the threshold in one year tend to make it the following year. Wagner’s 10th and final year on the ballot will be in 2025, making it a crucial year for his Hall of Fame chances.

On the other hand, Manny Ramírez and Alex Rodriguez are facing an uphill battle. Ramírez received 32.5% of the vote in his eighth year, while Rodriguez’s percentage dropped to 34.8% in his third year. With their tainted reputations due to PED suspensions, it seems unlikely that either player will gain significant traction in the future.

Andruw Jones saw a modest gain, jumping from 58.1% to 61.6% in his seventh year on the ballot. However, the question remains if he will reach the required 75% before hitting a voting plateau. Carlos Beltrán also experienced gains, going from 46.5% to 57.1% in his second year. Despite his involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, there is a possibility that Beltrán’s reputation could be rehabilitated over time.

Chase Utley had a decent first showing, receiving 28.8% of the vote in his debut year. While it’s difficult to predict his future chances, recent inductees like Larry Walker and Todd Helton started below 30% and eventually made it into the Hall of Fame. The presence of Contemporary second basemen Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler in next year’s ballot could impact Utley’s candidacy as voters compare the players.

David Wright survived his first year on the ballot with 6.2% of the vote, giving him a chance to gain further support in the future. Torii Hunter saw a slight gain, receiving 7.3% of the vote in his fourth year, while Jimmy Rollins experienced a more significant increase, going from 9.4% to 14.8% in his third year.

Several players, including Omar Vizquel, Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Mark Buehrle, and Francisco Rodríguez, lost votes and face diminishing chances of making it to the Hall of Fame. Finally, after ten years on the ballot, Gary Sheffield’s fate mirrored that of other players with high percentages who fell short of the 75% threshold.

The 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame vote has left fans and players alike with varying prospects for induction. The upcoming years will reveal whether momentum can turn the tide for those on the cusp of Cooperstown.