First-timers Swisher, Burnett up for '21 HOF

Pettitte, Clemens also among 8 Yanks eligible for Cooperstown

November 16th, 2020

NEW YORK -- The last pair of Hall of Fame classes have featured two of the greatest Yankees of the modern era, with Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter earning their well-deserved places among the sport’s finest talents. Could another Bronx Bomber knock on the door this year?

Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected Baseball Writers' Association of America members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election. Here are the others on the ballot who have worn the pinstripes:

The sweet-swinging outfielder played for six teams during his 18-year career and was part of the 2008 Yankees squad that helped close the original Yankee Stadium. Abreu hit .295/.378/.465 with 43 homers and 243 RBIs in 372 games for the Bombers. This is his second year on the ballot; Abreu received 5.5 percent last year.

Burnett’s crowning achievement in pinstripes was his victory in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series, which evened a Fall Classic won by the Yankees in six games. The right-hander pitched to a 164-157 record with a 3.99 ERA (104 ERA+) in 435 games (430 starts) over 17 seasons with the Marlins, Blue Jays, Yankees, Pirates and Phillies. This is Burnett’s first appearance on the ballot.

(1999-2003, ’07)
“The Rocket” was acquired from the Blue Jays in a blockbuster trade prior to the 1999 season and went 77-36 with a 3.99 ERA in 157 starts through his first five seasons with New York, earning two All-Star selections and two World Series rings. After three seasons with the Astros, Clemens returned to pitch in 18 more games for New York late in the 2007 season. This is Clemens’ ninth year on the ballot; he received 61 percent in ‘20.

The right-hander pitched for 11 teams throughout his 21-year career, but mostly the Twins. Hawkins compiled a 4.31 ERA in 1,042 games (98 starts), logging a 106 ERA+. Hawkins’ 33 appearances as a Yankee are best remembered for the hubbub over his uniform number; he requested No. 21 as an homage to Roberto Clemente, though the digits had been mothballed following Paul O’Neill’s retirement and have not been issued since.

Though he wasn’t the fleet-footed outfielder of his Braves days, Jones enjoyed some productive moments as well as a close relationship with Jeter and other veterans as he spent his final two big league seasons in New York. Jones hit 27 of his 434 big league homers for the Yanks. This is Jones’ fourth year on the ballot; he received 19.4 percent in 2020.

(1995-2003, ‘07-10, ‘12-13)
One of the most reliable big-game pitchers of his generation, Pettitte pitched 15 of his 18 seasons with the Yankees, going 219-127 with a 3.94 ERA in 447 games (438 starts). The franchise leader in strikeouts (2,020), Pettitte is a five-time World Series champion and won the clinching games in 1998, 2000 and ‘09. This is Pettitte’s third year on the ballot; he received 11.3 percent in ‘20.

One of the game’s most intimidating sluggers and a member of the 500-homer club, Sheffield played three of his 22 seasons in The Bronx, batting .291/.383/.515 with 76 home runs and 269 RBIs in 347 games. This is Sheffield’s seventh year on the ballot; he received 30.5 percent of votes in 2020.

The switch-hitting outfielder helped the Yankees to a World Series championship in 2009, then enjoyed his only career All-Star appearance while manning right field for the Bombers in ‘10. Swisher compiled a career slash line of .249/.351/.447 (113 OPS+) with 245 homers and 803 RBIs in 1,527 games for the Athletics, White Sox, Yankees, Indians and Braves from 2004-15. This is Swisher’s first time on the ballot.