Beltré, Helton, Mauer elected to Hall of Fame by BBWAA

Adrián Beltré, a five-time Gold Glove winner and four-time Silver Slugger recipient at third base, and former batting champions Todd Helton and Joe Mauer were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday in the 80th balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and tabulated by Ernst & Young.

Players are elected to the Hall provided they are named on at least 75 percent of ballots cast by eligible voting members of the BBWAA. With 385 ballots submitted in the 2024 election, candidates needed to receive 289 votes to be elected.

Beltré, who was on the ballot for the first time, earned the most votes of the 26 candidates with 366, which accounted for 95.1 percent of the electorate. Helton, in his sixth year on the ballot, was named on 307 ballots (79.7 percent) and Mauer, like Beltré a first-time honoree, got 293 votes (76.1).

They will be honored during Induction Weekend 2024 July 19-22 in Cooperstown, N.Y., at the July 21 Induction Ceremony on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center along with Jim Leyland, who was elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee last month in Nashville.

Also being honored that weekend will be the Ford C. Frick Award winner for baseball broadcasting, Joe Castiglione, and the BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner for baseball writing, the late Gerry Fraley, July 20 at the Awards Presentation.

Beltré, 44, who spent 21 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, and Texas Rangers, finished second in the 2004 National League MVP race to Barry Bonds. Beltre played 2,759 of his 2,933 career games at third base, second only to the 2,870 by Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. On career lists, Beltre ranks ninth in at-bats (11,068), 11th in doubles (636), 15th in total bases (5,309), 15th in extra base hits (1,151), 18th in hits (3,166), 25th in runs batted in (1,707) and 31st in home runs (477).

Helton, 50, whose entire 17-season career was spent with the Colorado Rockies, won the NL batting title with a .372 average in 2000, the same year that he topped the league in hits (216), doubles (59), total bases (405) and RBI (147). He is one of only seven players in history with at least two seasons (2000 and ’01) of 400 or more total bases. The five-time All-Star first baseman won three Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards. The .316 career hitter totaled 2,519 hits and had nearly the same amount of runs (1,401) as RBI (1,406) with more walks (1,335) than strikeouts (1,175).

Mauer, 40, who played in 15 major-league seasons, all with the Minnesota Twins, won American League batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009, the most by a catcher. He was the AL MVP in that 2009 season when he hit .365 with career-high totals in home runs (28) and runs batted in (96) and becoming the first catcher in either league to lead the majors in on-base average plus slugging percentage (1.031). Mauer, who spent his final five seasons primarily at first base, is the only catcher in history with at least 2.000 hits (2,123), a .300 batting average (.306) and a .380 on-base percentage (.388).

Falling just five votes short of election was relief pitcher Billy Wagner with 284 votes (73.8) in his ninth and next-to-last year on the ballot. The only other players to gain mention on more than half the ballots were outfielders Gary Sheffield with 246 (63.9), Andruw Jones with 237 (61.6) and Carlos Beltrán with 220 (57.1).

It was his 10th-and-final season on the BBWAA ballot for Sheffield. His case will revert to the BBWAA’s Historical Overview Committee in 2025, which crafts the ballots for consideration by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee for the Class of 2026.

Candidates may remain on the BBWAA ballot for up to 10 years provided they are listed on at least five percent of ballots cast. There are 14 players from this year’s ballot who will be eligible again for 2025, including two of the 12 first-year candidates – second baseman Chase Utley with 111 votes (28.8) and third baseman David Wright with 24 (6.2).

The Hall of Fame has 346 elected members, including 273 players, of whom 139 have come through the BBWAA ballot. The elections of Beltré and Mauer bring to 60 the total of players elected in their first year of eligibility by the BBWAA. This year marked the 10th time the BBWAA elected three players and the first time since 2017 when Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Iván Rodríguez made the grade.

The average ballot in the 2024 election contained 7.00 names, up from 5.86 last year, with 24.4 percent of the voters using all 10 slots, up from 13.9 a year ago. The total of ballots cast marked a 97.7-percent return rate of the 394 ballots mailed to voters. There were no blank ballots submitted.

The vote: Adrián Beltré 366 (95.1%), Todd Helton 307 (79.7), Joe Mauer 293 (76.1), Billy Wagner 284 (73.8), Gary Sheffield 246 (63.9), Andruw Jones 237 (61.6), Carlos Beltrán 220 (57.1), Álex Rodríguez 134 (34.8), Manny Ramírez 125 (32.5), Chase Utley 111 (28.8), Omar Vizquel 68 (17.7), Jimmy Rollins 57 (14.8), Bobby Abreu 57 (14.8), Andy Pettitte 52 (13.5), Mark Buehrle 32 (8.3), Francisco Rodríguez 30 (7.8), Torii Hunter 28 (7.3), David Wright 24 (6.2), José Bautista 6 (1.6), Victor Martinez 6 (1.6), Bartolo Colon 5 (1.3), Matt Holliday 4 (1.0), Adrián González 3 (0.8), Brandon Phillips 1 (0.3), José Reyes 0, James Shields 0.

HALL OF FAME WEEKEND 2024

The eyes of the baseball world will be focused on Cooperstown July 19 - 22, with the legends of the game in town to see history unfold during Hall of Fame Weekend.