Adrian Beltré, Joe Mauer and Chase Utley are some of the more notable newcomers featured on the 2024 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Monday.
Those first-year candidates are joined by ballot veterans such as Todd Helton, Billy Wagner and Andruw Jones, who are trending toward enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Beltré appears on the ballot for the first time after recording 3,166 hits and 477 home runs during his 21-year career. Mauer’s three batting titles as a catcher and 2009 AL MVP are some of his top reasons for induction. Utley made six All-Star teams and won the 2008 World Series with the Phillies. Other first-timers on the ballot include David Wright, Bartolo Colon, Adrián González, Matt Holliday, José Reyes, José Bautista, Victor Martinez, James Shields and Brandon Phillips.
The candidacies of Helton, Wagner and Jones are among the top storylines for this year’s ballot. All three are within range of the 75% threshold needed for induction following significant jumps last year. Helton fell just shy in his fifth year on the ballot, receiving 72.2% of the vote. Wagner and Jones made 17-point improvements in last year’s voting, putting them at 68.1% and 58.1% as they enter their ninth and seventh years on the ballot, respectively.
Gary Sheffield saw his support leap up 15 points last year, to 55.0%. But he will need an even bigger increase to be elected to the Hall of Fame in his 10th and final year on the BBWAA ballot. A member of the 500-home run club, Sheffield is the only player on the ballot entering their 10th voting cycle.
Other noteworthy returning candidates include Carlos Beltrán, who is one of five players with 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases. He debuted on the ballot last year and garnered 46.5% of the vote. Alex Rodriguez, now in his third year of eligibility, and Manny Ramirez, in his eighth year, were two of the most fearsome hitters the game has known. But their connections to performance-enhancing drugs have likely kept their voting percentages down. Last year, Rodriguez was listed on 35.7% of ballots cast, while Ramirez was on 33.2% of ballots cast.
The remaining returning candidates are Omar Vizquel (19.5% last year, seventh ballot in 2024), Andy Pettitte (17.0%, sixth ballot), Bobby Abreu (15.4%, fifth ballot), Jimmy Rollins (12.9%, third ballot), Mark Buehrle (10.8%, fourth ballot), Francisco Rodriguez (10.8%, second ballot) and Torii Hunter (6.9%, fourth ballot).
All eligible BBWAA voters have a deadline of Dec. 31 to submit their ballots. The results will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, live on MLB Network. All players who receive 75% of the vote and anyone elected from the Contemporary Baseball Era Managers/Executives/Umpires ballot will be enshrined during the 2024 Induction Ceremony on July 21.