COMMENTARY: Jeter is a unanimous Hall of Famer; Bonds, Clemens still plagued by PEDs


Keith Allison / Wiki Creative Commons

With a legendary career in New York along with an impressive resume, Derek Jeter’s induction to the Hall of Fame seems like a no-brainer.

Over the holidays, members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will debate which retired players are worthy of admission into the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

According to USA Today, 32 players are on this year’s BBWAA ballot. Players must be five years removed from MLB and have played in 10 or more MLB seasons to be placed on the ballot. Once on the ballot, a player remains on the ballot for 10 years— unless he receives less than 5% of the votes. In that case, he is removed from the ballot, per

So how does a player enter into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

The first option is through the BBWAA Election. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a player must receive 75% of the votes in order to receive admission into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

The other option is the Eras Committee, which meets during the annual baseball winter meetings in December. This committee considers retired MLB players no longer eligible for the BBWAA election, managers, umpires and executives who made notable contributions to baseball in three different eras: Golden Days (1950-1969), Modern Baseball (1970-1987) and Today’s Game (1988- Present). 

Derek Jeter and Curt Schilling should both enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Derek Jeter 

As a Yankees fan, I’m biased on this pick. However, it is difficult to present a strong argument as to why Jeter should not join former teammate Mariano Rivera as the second Hall-of-Famer inducted by a unanimous first-ballot. Jeter was the eleventh captain in Yankees’ history – a title he held since 2003. 

“The Captain,” had a career .310 batting average and 3465 hits, all while earning 14 All-Star nominations and leading New York to five World Series Championships in a majestic 20-year career, per Baseball Reference.

Curt Schilling 

A six-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion, Schilling is best remembered for his “Bloody Sock” performance against the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series. According to USA Today, aside from Roger Clemens, Schilling is the only starting pitcher with 3,000+ strikeouts that is not in the Hall of Fame. 

Unlike Clemens, Schilling never used performance-enhancing drugs. However, Schilling has made many enemies with his extreme right-wing political views and controversial tweets. Most notably, Schilling “jokingly” encouraged the lynching of journalists a statement taken personally by BBWAA members. However, it’s my belief that in his eighth year of consideration, Schilling will break the 75% vote threshold.

The following players received honorable mentions: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Andy Pettitte, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez. Baseball is not ready to forgive Clemens and Bonds for their extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs. Eventually, I believe both will be in Cooperstown just not right now. 

The following players won’t meet the 5% required to stay on the ballot: Rafael Furcal, Heath Bell, Eric Chavez, Carlos Peña, Chone Figgins and Brad Penny. 

The BBWAA election results will be revealed Jan. 21. The elected players will be enshrined on July 26 in Cooperstown.