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Four former Blue Jays on 2020 HOF ballot

@baseballexis
November 18, 2019

TORONTO -- As baseball’s best and brightest continue to be highlighted throughout this year’s awards season, the Hall of Fame has announced the 32 names on the 2020 ballot, with four former Blue Jays among the group. On Monday afternoon, the 2020 ballot was released, and it once again includes

TORONTO -- As baseball’s best and brightest continue to be highlighted throughout this year’s awards season, the Hall of Fame has announced the 32 names on the 2020 ballot, with four former Blue Jays among the group.

On Monday afternoon, the 2020 ballot was released, and it once again includes former Toronto right-hander Roger Clemens, shortstop Omar Vizquel, third baseman Scott Rolen and second baseman Jeff Kent, all returnees to the voting process.

The Hall of Fame’s official announcement with the results from the election will take place at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 21 on MLB Network, while the induction ceremony is set for Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday, July 26.

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While none of the players in the class are really representative of the Blue Jays, their impacts were felt during the time they spent with Toronto. Clemens, who spent just two seasons with the squad, won back-to-back American League Cy Young Awards with the Blue Jays in 1997 and ’98, two of the seven Cy Young Awards he accumulated throughout his career.

With Toronto in 1997, the Texas native went 21-7 with a 2.05 ERA over 34 starts and 264 innings, hurling nine complete games, notching three shutouts and striking out 292. The following season, Clemens compiled 20 wins to go with a 2.65 mark over 33 starts and 234 2/3 frames, adding five more complete games, another trio of shutouts and 271 strikeouts.

This year marks Clemens’ eighth time on the ballot and his vote total has continued to increase each year. Last year, he was named on 59.5 percent of the ballots, short of the required 75 percent to gain entry. The pitcher spent the majority of his career with the Red Sox.

Kent is on the ballot for the seventh time, last year landing 18.1 percent of the vote. The California-born infielder began his 17-year big league career with the Blue Jays, selected by the club in the 20th round of the 1989 Draft and making his debut in Toronto in '92. Before spending the bulk of his career with the Giants, Kent got into 65 games for the team that gave him his professional start, hitting .240/.324/.443 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, one triple and 35 RBIs.

Rolen returns to the ballot for his third time, racking up 17.2 percent of the vote last year. Among the 17 years the infielder spent in the Majors -- the majority with the Phillies -- Rolen played in the AL for just two of them, both with Toronto. For the Blue Jays, the Indiana native hit .288/.358/.452 with 19 home runs, 59 doubles, three triples and 93 RBIs over his 203 games.

Vizquel spent the final season of his 24 years in the big leagues with the Blue Jays, helping to anchor the infield while getting into 60 games with Toronto. The Venezuelan infielder, who spent the majority of his career with the Indians, reached 42.8 percent of the vote last year, in just his second time on the ballot, and is in good shape electorally.

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.