Gary swings, Pettitte needs a miracle as ex-Yankees await Cooperstown call

Ex-Yankees Gary Sheffield and Andy Pettitte
Sara Molnick
Tuesday January 9, 2024

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Baseball’s most highly anticipated winter spectacle isn’t the trade deadline or the frenzy of free agency – it’s the revelation of the newest class inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On January 23rd, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will disclose their judgment, keeping eight players with ties to the Yankees in suspense.

Sheffield swinging for recognition

Gary Sheffield, in his final year of eligibility, requires a 75% vote to secure his place in Cooperstown. His offensive prowess – 509 home runs, a remarkable walk-to-strikeout ratio, and WAR numbers surpassing Hall of Famers like Guerrero and Stargell – presents a compelling case. Whether the long-awaited acknowledgment finally arrives will be one of the day’s most significant dramas.

Ex-Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield

It is his 11th year on the ballot and the ex-Yankees player got 55% votes in 2023.

A-Rod’s road looks too rocky

Alex Rodriguez remains a divisive figure. Stalled in the mid-30s percentage-wise for three years, his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs continues to weigh on voters’ minds. Can he overcome the stigma and achieve induction?

It was his third year for the ex-Yankees star, who spent 13 eventful seasons in pinstripes. In 2023, his second year on the ballot, he had 35.7% votes.

Beltran’s remains steady

Carlos Beltran seems to be on a steady trajectory. With 435 home runs, nine All-Star selections, and three Gold Gloves – including a noteworthy resurgence with the Yankees in 2016 – his credentials are robust. It appears he is on track for Cooperstown sooner rather than later.

In his first year in 2023, the ex-Yankees player, who played in the pinstripes from 2014 to 2016, got 46.5% votes.

Ex-Yankees ace Pettitte needs a miracle

Andy Pettitte requires a substantial boost. Despite regular-season success and a legendary postseason record, voters have been hesitant to support him. A significant increase in vote share is critical for his Cooperstown aspirations.

In 2023, his fifth year on the HoF ballot, the ex-Yankees ace received only 17% approval.

Jones’ second wind

Andruw Jones‘ early career brilliance is finally gaining traction. A consistent rise in votes each year could position him on the cusp of induction soon.

The ex-Yankees player, who was in the Bronx from 2011 to 2012, got 58.1% votes in 2023, his sixth year on the ballot.

Abreu’s faces an uphill task

Bobby Abreu‘s time with the Yankees mirrored his career – consistently productive, possibly undervalued. His impressive walk numbers and a combination of power and speed deserve closer examination, but time might be running out.

Abreu’s 2.5 seasons as a Yankee mirrored his 18-year journey: statistically sound, quietly powerful, yet somehow undervalued. His 1,476 walks, a testament to his plate IQ, rank third all-time. The rare 288 homers-400 steals combo places him among baseball’s elite. Yet, barring a surge in Hall of Fame buzz, he might find himself in the “Very Good” purgatory.

It is his fifth year and he received a mere 15% last year.

Colon’s first shot

The age-defying Bartolo Colon makes his debut on the HoF ballot, but the odds are against him. The 2005 Cy Young winner and four-time All-Star may boast a 21-year odyssey, but his Yankees stint was a brief flirtation compared to his epic journey. Facing an uphill battle on this crowded Hall of Fame ballot, Big Sexy’s legacy of salsa-infused fastballs and unlikely homers rests in the hands of the voters.

Holliday makes debut

Matt Holliday‘s exceptional hitting might not be sufficient to overcome his shorter career and defensive limitations. His performance on the inaugural ballot will be revealing.

As the clock ticks down to January 23rd, these Yankees legends await their destiny. Will Sheffield finally receive his long-overdue recognition? Can A-Rod defy the odds stacked against him? Who takes a step closer to Cooperstown? Join us as the Hall of Fame gates swing open, welcoming some while leaving others to anticipate another year of waiting.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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