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Ex-Nats Soriano, Dunn drop off HOF ballot

Former Expo Walker elected to Hall in final year of eligibility
@zachsilver
January 21, 2020

WASHINGTON -- Their chances to make it to Cooperstown went much like their respective tenures with the Nationals -- short-lived, yet still somewhat memorable. Neither Alfonso Soriano nor Adam Dunn met the 5% threshold during their first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, meaning the duo not only missed

WASHINGTON -- Their chances to make it to Cooperstown went much like their respective tenures with the Nationals -- short-lived, yet still somewhat memorable.

Neither Alfonso Soriano nor Adam Dunn met the 5% threshold during their first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, meaning the duo not only missed out on being members of the 2020 Class but also will not be included on ballots going forward. Though they could technically still become enshrined in Cooperstown through the Eras Committee down the road, their chances would appear very small -- at least without some type of managerial or coaching excellence added to their respective resumes.

Soriano was named to six ballots for a 1.5% total and Dunn was named to one (0.3%), but that does not disparage what each accomplished as a member of the Nationals.

Complete Hall of Fame election results

Soriano, for his part, put together one of the most impressive seasons in the club’s 15-year history. His 40-40 season under manager Frank Robinson in 2006 is only the fourth in Major League history -- and the only one in Nationals/Expos history. That season was strong enough to crown him a National League All-Star, an NL Silver Slugger Award winner and sixth place in NL Most Valuable Player Award voting. Add 40 doubles to that total, and he’s the only player in baseball history with 40 homers, steals and doubles in a single season.

While his time in D.C. was not safe from controversy, Soriano represents one of the first truly elite players -- at least at the time -- to don a Nationals uniform, albeit via trade. And he’s also partly responsible for netting the Nats one of their new signings, as Starlin Castro's first infatuation with the club was watching Soriano's 2006 masterpiece. The two countrymen would later grow to have an inseparable relationship in Chicago.

Dunn’s tenure was a year longer and his impact, too, was palpable. The first baseman/outfielder was one of the first bigger-name free agents to call D.C. his home, setting the stage for other arrivals, like Jayson Werth in 2011. He showcased a pop that went unmatched; his 76 home runs from ’09-10 stand as the most by a National in a two-year stretch.

There was some happy news for the franchise, however, as six-year Expo Larry Walker found his way into the Hall in his last year of eligibility on the ballot.

While neither Soriano nor Dunn may become another once-National to inhabit the Hall of Fame -- that lone honor belongs to Iván Rodríguez -- Washington fans can take solace that there are a few current Nats that may very well not just enter the Hall down the road but do so with a Curly W on their placard.

Zachary Silver is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Baltimore/Washington. Follow him on Twitter @zachsilver.