NEW YORK – The 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will consist of four former cardinals and one St. Charles native.
Third baseman Scott Rolen, outfielder Carlos Beltrán, starting pitcher John Lackey and shortstop Jhonny Peralta are all on next year’s ballot, in addition to St. Charles-raised and longtime Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle .
Rolen has appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot since 2018. He earned the minimum number of votes (5%) to remain on the ballot for five consecutive years, although he did not pass the 75% Hall of Fame threshold,
Beltrán, Lackey and Peralta, all Cardinals close to the later stages of their careers in the 2010s, are all first-time Hall eligible players. Buehrle, who has never played for the Cardinals in 16 seasons but has one of 21 perfect games in MLB history, is eligible for his second time.
MLB players with 10 years of service are eligible for the Hall of Fame five years after their retirement.
Beltrán, Lackey and Peralta are among 14 newcomers on the ballot to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Hall of Fame. RA Dickey, Huston Street, Francisco Rodríguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain are also new on the ballot, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, JJ Hardy, Jered Weaver and Andre Ethier, the Hall and the BBWAA said on Monday.
Reserves include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner. Rolen received 249 of 394 votes last year (63.2%), when David Ortiz was elected with 307 votes (77.9%), 11 more than the 75% needed. Helton was up 205 votes (52%) and Wagner 201 (51%).
For some voters, at least in Beltrán’s case, it could turn into an assessment of the Houston Astros cheating scandal related to his last season in 2017.
A nine-time All-Star, Beltrán had .279 batting averages, 435 home runs, 1,587 RBIs, and 312 stolen bases for Kansas City, Houston, New York Mets, San Francisco, St. Louis, Yankees, and Texas. He was hired as manager of the Mets on November 10. 1, 2019, then was fired on Jan. 1, 2019. 16 without managing a game, three days after being the only Astros player mentioned by name in a Major League Baseball report regarding the illegal use of electronics by part of the team for stealing marks during Houston’s run at the 2017 World Series.
In the past, voters have denied several stars spoiled by steroids and scandal.
Peralta played 15 seasons and hit 202 home runs with a .267 batting average and 873 RBI. He is a three-time All Star, last garnering such honors with the Cardinals in 2015. Despite his accomplishments, he was suspended 50 games in 2013 due to a PED scandal that also led to the suspension of former MVP Alex Rodríguez and Ryan Braun.
In regards to such considerations, Lackey has never been linked to any scandal. Lackey won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for the Anaheim Angels as a rookie, then added World Series titles with the 2013 Boston Red Sox and 2016 Chicago Cubs. He was 188-147 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 seasons and proved reliable in the postseason with an 8-6 record and 3.44 ERA.
Barry Bonds (260 votes, 66%), Roger Clemens (257, 65.2%) and Curt Schilling (231, 58.6%) were eliminated after their tenth appearance on the ballot last year and are among eight players to appear on the ballot by the Hall’s Contemporary Baseball Era Committee, which meets Dec. 12. 4 in San Diego before the winter baseball game.
Others remaining on the BBWAA ballot include Andruw Jones (163 votes last year, 41.1%), Gary Sheffield (160, 40.6%), Alex Rodriguez (135, 34.3%), Jeff Kent (129, 32 .7%), Manny Ramirez (114, 28.9%), Omar Vizquel (94, 23.9%), Andy Pettitte (42, 10.7%), Jimmy Rollins (37, 9.4%), Bobby Abreu (34, 8.6%), Mark Buehrle (23, 5.8%) and Torii Hunter (21, 5.3%).
Kent, who received his highest percentage last year, will appear on the BBWAA ballot for the tenth and final time.
BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be stamped by December 31, and the results will be announced in January. 24.
All elected players will be inducted into Cooperstown Hall on July 23 along with anyone elected by the Baseball Contemporary Era Committee.
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