Derek Jeter seeks accountability from the writer who let him off HoF ballot

Derek Jeter is giving his Baseball Hall of Fame speech in September 8, 2021, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
AP

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The 2020 Hall of Fame induction of Yankees legend Derek Jeter fell short of being unanimous after one baseball writer snubbed him on the ballot. It has been more than four years since he was inducted into Cooperstown but the baseball icon continues to be asked about. Fed up with such queries, Derek Jeter has sought accountability from the writer who didn’t vote for his HoF bid.

In a candid discussion on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina, Derek Jeter expressed more frustration with the repetitive questioning about the lone dissenting vote than with the vote itself.

The baseball icon underscored the significance of accountability in sports media, comparing it to players’ responsibility while speaking to the media after games. He asserted that media members should likewise be accountable for their decisions and actions. While Derek Jeter made it clear he harbored no grudge against the solitary voter who snubbed him, he felt it increasingly tiresome to be asked about it repeatedly.

“Members of the media always want us to be accountable as players,” he told. “Good game, bad game, you have to stand in front of your locker and you have to address the media. I did it every single day. You may not have liked what I said…but I was accountable, and I was there.”

The former Yankee captain suggested that the media should ask this question to the baseball writer rather than him.

“And I think you should expect the same from the members of the media. I don’t care that someone didn’t vote for me. I really don’t,” Derek Jeter urged. “But I do think what becomes annoying is I have to constantly answer the question. And I don’t think I should be the one answering the question. Whoever it is should answer the question. I don’t have a problem with it, but I get tired of being asked that question.”

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Who snubbed Derek Jeter’s HoF bid?

Derek Jeter was inducted into the Hall of Fame with an impressive 99.7 percent of the vote, a statistic he humorously acknowledged in his 2021 induction speech by thanking “all but one” of the baseball writers.

While some voters have taken to social media to share their ballots, the practice is far from universal. The identity of the lone voter who excluded Derek Jeter remains a mystery, sparking ongoing speculation.

Unverified reports suggest that Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune might have been the voter in question. Canepa, in a 2022 column, mentioned leaving his 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame ballots blank. Additionally, an alleged email exchange where Canepa reportedly indicated a lack of awareness regarding Jeter’s eligibility has added to the speculation.

This incident has drawn parallels to other cases of voter accountability, such as Mark Jackson’s public admission of his oversight in omitting Nikola Jokić from his MVP ballot.

Yankees captain Derek Jeter with US President George W. Bush at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
USA TODAY Sports

Derek Jeter’s recent remarks have ignited a wider conversation about accountability in sports media, focusing particularly on Hall of Fame and league award voting transparency. The former Yankees star’s call for clarity extends beyond his own near-unanimous Hall of Fame induction.

As this debate unfolds, many within the sports community, including Derek Jeter, are advocating for greater transparency and accountability from media members involved in these crucial voting processes. This ongoing dialogue underscores the complex interplay between athletes, the media, and the institutions that recognize athletic achievements.

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