Jeter, Walker comprise BBWAA’s Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Jeter, the New York Yankees longtime shortstop who became the 57th player elected to the Hall on his first Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, received 396 of the 397 votes cast for a percentage of 99.7 in results announced on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
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“I looked at all the votes I got. It takes a lot of votes to get elected to the Hall of Fame,” Jeter said on a conference call following his election. “Trying to get that many people to agree on something is pretty difficult to do. So that was not something (earning unanimous election) that was on my mind. I’m just extremely excited and honored to be elected.”
Walker’s percentage was 76.6 in his 10th and final year on the BBWAA ballot. The powerful outfielder is the first player elected by the BBWAA who received less than 12 percent of the vote in any election during his candidacy – he received 10.2 percent in 2014 – since Bob Lemon, who was elected in 1976 and received 11.9 percent of the vote in his first year eligible in 1964.
The two newest Hall of Famers, who increase the total number of electees to 333, both first became stars in 1990s, combined to play 37 seasons and totaled 19 All-Star Game selections, 12 Gold Glove Awards and eight Silver Slugger Awards.
Jeter, 45, played 20 big league seasons (1995-2014), all for the Yankees, and helped lead the franchise to World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. The 1996 American League Rookie of the Year, he was named to 14 All-Star squads, was a five-time Gold Glove Award winner, and in 2003 was named the eighth captain in Yankees history.
His career numbers in the regular season include being ranked sixth all-time in hits (3,465), seventh in at-bats (11,195), 11th in runs scored (1,923), 29th in games played (2,747) and 35th in doubles (544).
Walker, 53, spent 17 seasons in the majors (1989-2005), which included 10 with the Colorado Rockies, a half-dozen with the Montreal Expos, and a pair with the St. Louis Cardinals. The first Rockies player ever elected to the Hall of Fame was a seven-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field and a five-time All-Star. Walker won National League batting titles in 1998 (.363), 1999 (.379) and 2001 (.350).
“When the call came, I was literally 90 seconds from probably saying ‘OK’. I had when they were going to call, around about time, and that time had come and gone. It was a few minutes after that when the call actually came,” Walker said. “As close as I was to saying lets go watch the rest of the induction stuff on TV… and then that number popped up on the phone.
“To hear them ask if they could speak to Larry Walker, the rest was almost in disbelief to hear then say that I didn’t come up short this year and I had passed the 75 percent threshold and welcomed me to the Hall of Fame. Pretty amazing.”
The two BBWAA electees will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 26 on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown along with Modern Baseball Era electees Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, who were elected in December.
Ford C. Frick Award winner Ken Harrelson and Spink Award winner Nick Cafardo will be honored during Induction Weekend at the Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 25, at Doubleday Field.
Bill Francis is the senior research and writing specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum