Beltré, Helton, Mauer a trio of legends headed to Hall of Fame
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot boom was back in a big way with the announcement of a three-person Class of 2024 on Tuesday night.
Beltré, Mauer, and Helton Elected to Hall of Fame
In an exciting development, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) has announced the Class of 2024 for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This year, three legends have been elected to join the esteemed ranks of Cooperstown: third baseman Adrián Beltré, catcher Joe Mauer, and first baseman Todd Helton.
Beltré and Mauer both made it into the Hall on their first BBWAA ballot, while Helton received the honor in his sixth year of eligibility. Joining them is Jim Leyland, who was elected through the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. The induction ceremony for these four inductees will take place on July 21 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Impressive Voting Results
In order to be elected into the Hall of Fame, players must receive at least 75% support from the ballots submitted by the BBWAA. Beltré received an impressive 95.1% support, while Helton reached 79.7%. Mauer barely made the cut with 76.1% of the vote, surpassing the threshold by just four votes.
Unfortunately, closer Billy Wagner fell just five votes short of entry with a support of 73.8%. He will have one final chance in 2025. Slugger Gary Sheffield also missed out with 63.9% support in his tenth and final year of eligibility. However, center fielders Andruw Jones (61.6% on his seventh ballot) and Carlos Beltrán (57.1% on his second ballot) generated enough support to keep their chances alive in future ballots.
A Look at the Inductees
Adrián Beltré, a native of the Dominican Republic, has had a remarkable career in baseball. Known for his exceptional defensive skills and powerful bat, Beltré has accumulated 3,166 hits and 477 home runs over his 21 seasons in the MLB. He is only the second infielder, after Derek Jeter, to achieve both 3,000 hits and five Gold Glove awards. Beltré expressed his disbelief and gratitude at being elected to the Hall of Fame alongside the other legends.
Todd Helton, who played his entire 17-year career with the Colorado Rockies, faced initial skepticism due to playing at Coors Field, a ballpark known for its offense-friendly environment. However, over time, the voters recognized Helton's all-around talent, both at home and on the road. With a career batting average of .345 and 227 home runs at Coors Field, as well as a .287 average and 142 home runs on the road, Helton has proven himself to be a deserving inductee.
Finally, Joe Mauer, one of the best catchers of his generation, has also gained entry into the Hall of Fame. Despite his career being cut short by concussions and a transition to first base, Mauer's impact behind the plate is undeniable. With a .306 batting average and a .388 on-base percentage, Mauer stands among the greatest catchers in history. He is the third catcher to be elected on his first ballot, joining the likes of Iván Rodríguez and Johnny Bench.