BBWAA 2023 Hall of Fame Ballot Features 28 Candidates
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – A former Cy Young Award winner, two former winners of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award and several players who were part of World Series-winning teams are among a group of 14 new candidates appearing on the 2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot that is being mailed this week to approximately 400 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Pitchers R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, John Lackey, Francisco Rodríguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain; outfielders Carlos Beltrán, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jayson Werth; and catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli will join 14 holdovers from the 2022 balloting in which David Ortiz was elected to the Hall of Fame. Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election and be part of Induction Weekend July 21-24, 2023, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Six non-elected candidates in last year’s election were listed on more than half the ballots, but three of them – outfielder Barry Bonds (66.0 percent) and pitchers Roger Clemens (65.2) and Curt Schilling (58.6) – were in their final year on the BBWAA ballot and will be considered next month by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee. The other three who got more than 50 percent of the vote returning to the ballot are third baseman Scott Rolen (63.2), first baseman Todd Helton (52.0) and relief pitcher Billy Wagner (51.0). Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote.
This will be the final year on the ballot for second baseman Jeff Kent, who was named on 32.7 percent of 2022 ballots, his highest percentage. Other holdovers from last year’s ballot are pitchers Mark Buehrle and Andy Pettitte; infielders Jimmy Rollins, Álex Rodríguez and Omar Vizquel; and outfielders Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramírez and Gary Sheffield.
Dickey was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2012 for the New York Mets when he posted a 20-6 record with a 2.73 earned run average and league-high totals in starts (33), complete games (five), shutouts (three), innings pitched (233.2) and strikeouts (230). The right-handed knuckleballer who also pitched for Texas, Seattle, Minnesota, Toronto and Atlanta over 15 major-league seasons, was a Gold Glove Award winner in 2013 and led his league in assists by pitchers three times.
Beltrán was the American League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in 1999 with the Kansas City Royals and went on to bat .279 with 435 home runs and 1,587 runs batted in during 20 seasons with stops in New York for both the Mets and the Yankees, in Texas for both the Rangers and the Houston Astros as well as San Francisco and St. Louis. The nine-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner batted .307 with a 1.021 on-base plus slugging percentage in 15 postseason series featuring 16 home runs and 42 RBI in 65 games. A member of the 2017 Astros World Series title team, Beltrán hit four home runs in the 2004 NL Division Series and NL Championship Series in becoming the only player with at least four home runs in two series in the same season and one of three players, along with Hall of Famers Jim Thome and Duke Snider, with multiple postseason series of at least four home runs.
Street was the AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year winner in 2005 for the Oakland Athletics with a 5-1 record, 1.72 ERA and 23 saves, the first of nine seasons with 20 or more saves, including two years with 40 or more (2014-15). Over 13 seasons with the A’s, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels, Street totaled 324 saves, 20th on the all-time list.
Francisco Rodríguez’s career got off to an impressive start the year before he was technically a rookie. That was in 2002 when the right-hander was 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 18.2 innings in the postseason on the way to a World Series championship for the Angels. Rodríguez, who also pitched for the Mets, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Detroit over 16 seasons, led his league in saves three times, games finished three times and total appearances once. His 437 saves place him fourth on the career list.
One of his teammates on the 2002 Angels was Game 7 winner John Lackey, who later pitched on two more World Series champions, the 2013 Boston Red Sox and the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Lackey was 188-147 with a 3.92 ERA over 15 seasons and in 19 postseason series was 8-6 with a 3.44 ERA. Ellsbury and Napoli were teammates as well on the ’13 Red Sox champs.
Like Rodríguez, Ellsbury starred on a World Series champion, the 2007 Red Sox, before his official rookie year, hitting .353 in 116 regular-season at-bats and .360 in 25 postseason at-bats. A Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner, Ellsbury, who also played for the Yankees, led the AL in stolen bases three times and was the runner-up for the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 2011 when he had career highs in batting (.321), hits (212), home runs (32), RBI (105) and runs (119). Napoli had 10 RBI for Texas in the 2011 World Series and was the starting catcher for the AL in the 2012 All-Star Game.
Arroyo was on Boston’s World Series team that ended the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 during a 16-year career that included time with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Arizona. An All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, Arroyo led his league in starts twice and shutouts and innings pitched once. Cain spent all his 13 big league seasons in San Francisco and was on World Series-winning staffs in 2010 and 2012. The three-time All-Star was 4-2 with a 2.10 ERA in eight postseason starts, including 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in two World Series starts, and did not allow an earned run in 21.1 innings of the 2010 postseason. Werth hit .444 with one home run and three RBI for the Philadelphia Phillies in their 2008 World Series triumph. An All-Star in 2009, he led the NL in doubles the next year.
Also new to the ballot are pitcher Jered Weaver, shortstops J.J. Hardy and Jhonny Peralta and outfielder Andre Ethier. Weaver, a three-time All-Star, led the AL in victories twice and had a career winning percentage of .605, based on a 150-98 record. Hardy was two-time All-Star, including the starting AL shortstop in 2013, and won three Gold Gloves. Peralta started at shortstop for the NL in the 2015 All-Star Game, one of three selections to the team. Ethier made two NL All-Star teams and won both a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award in a 12-season career, all with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Voters must return ballots by a Dec. 31 postmark. Votes are counted jointly by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell and Ernst & Young partner Mark Moran. Results will be announced by Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, live on MLB Network.
The ballot: Bobby Abreu, Bronson Arroyo, Carlos Beltrán, Mark Buehrle, Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, J.J. Hardy, Todd Helton, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Jhonny Peralta, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramírez, Álex Rodríguez, Francisco Rodríguez, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins, Gary Sheffield, Huston Street, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner, Jered Weaver, Jayson Werth.