NEW YORK -- This year’s ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum featured several fan favorites who spent portions of their career in Yankees pinstripes, but the eligible voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America placed none of them close to Cooperstown.
With 389 ballots submitted, Scott Rolen (76.3 percent) was the only player on the ballot to garner the necessary 75 percent required for induction. Todd Helton (72.2 percent) and Billy Wagner (68.1 percent) came in shy of the 292 votes needed.
Three celebrated outfielders who spent part of their careers in New York rested just below Helton and Wagner: Andruw Jones (58.1 percent), Gary Sheffield (55 percent) and Carlos Beltran (46.5 percent). This marked Jones’ sixth time on the ballot, Sheffield’s ninth and Beltrán’s first.
Voters clearly wrestled to weigh Beltrán’s outstanding 20-year career with seven teams (including the 2014-16 Yankees) against his connection to the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal, which resulted in the Mets dismissing him as their manager before he’d even filled out a lineup card.
One of only five players at any position to collect at least 500 doubles, 400 home runs and 300 steals, along with Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Andre Dawson, Beltrán was the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year, a nine-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a two-time Silver Slugger. He is currently an analyst for the YES Network.
A-Rod (35.7 percent) continues to sit well shy of Hall induction in his second year on the ballot, despite collecting 3,115 hits, 696 home runs and 2,086 RBIs over a 22-year career with the Mariners (1994-2000), Rangers (2001-03) and Yankees (2004-16).
A three-time MVP, 14-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger, Rodriguez’s statistical achievements alone would place him in the upper echelon of Cooperstown’s talent. However, his candidacy is stained by performance-enhancing drug use, including a 162-game suspension that cost him the entire 2014 season -- the longest such penalty levied to date by Major League Baseball.
Andy Pettitte (17 percent, fifth year) and Bobby Abreu (15.4 percent, fourth year) were the other former Yankees to receive votes. Jacoby Ellsbury, a first-year candidate, did not garner the necessary 5 percent to remain on the ballot.