The 2020 Hall of Fame ballot is headlined by Derek Jeter, who will certainly be a first-ballot guy.
He could even be unanimous like Mariano Rivera, our own Nick Giovanelli writes.
Besides the obvious Yankee captain, there are nine other former Yankees on the Hall of Fame ballot this year.
Some have more memorable careers in pinstripes than others. Can you identify all nine? No cheating…
Do not fret if you missed some of them, that does not make you any less of a Yankees fan because you forgot Brian Roberts’ 91 games for the Yankees is in 2014. The following is the Hall of Fame resumes for all nine of the “other” Yankees that could possibly make the Hall of Fame, in order of time spent with the Yankees.
Just like Ivan Rodriguez last year, just because a player did not play their whole career for Yankees, that does not mean it is an honor for the Yankees to increase their representation in the Hall.
No one on this ballot rivals Jeter’s dedication to pinstripes, but Pettitte may come to the closest spending only three seasons away from Yankee Stadium when he played for the Houston Astros from 2004-2006. Voters like seeing players who spend most of their careers with some team. Credit to Pettitte there.
Pettitte also won five World Series as a player and was MVP of the 2001 ALCS.
His Hall of Fame monitor numbers is one place that could hurt him. His career WAR and 7-year peak WAR are well below standards for a pitcher and players’ peaks are very important for the voting in comparison to accumulating stats.
Adding to Pettitte’s uphill battle to Cooperstown is how he admitted to using a human growth hormone to recover but claims to have never used steroids. Once other steroid users start deservedly become enshrined in the Hall, Pettitte’s case should improve.
Giambi is one of the two Yankees to have won an MVP award on this year’s ballot. He also hit 440 home runs and had nearly the exact 7-year peak of the average Hall of Fame first baseman at 42.2. The average peak is 42.7.
The issue is, for a power-hitting first baseman, his black ink (or stats he led the league in) is significantly lower than the average Hall of Famer. For a power hitter, this is one area he could have really helped his case.
Soriano is part of the not-as-memorable-but-still-impressive 400 home run club with 412 moon shots. He made a noble return to the Yankees in 2013 after touring the rest of MLB for ten seasons.
Sadly, Soriano really does not have any of the numbers to fit into the Hall of Fame, but it is still an honor for him to be recognized and he could increase that notoriety by sticking around on the ballot for a few seasons.
It is funny all of the small similarities that pop up between the players on this list. This one is pretty cool: just like Pettitte, Clemens took a three-season detour from the Yankees to the Houston Astros. Their careers are also both tainted by steroids.
Okay, that second part is not too fun, but regardless.
Where Clemens and Pettitte differ is their Hall of Fame stats. All of Clemens’ metrics below the average HoF pitcher out of the water. Just take a look for yourself:
Clemens seriously needs to be inducted and that would be huge for baseball history because he could open the floodgates to helping other steroid users get in, and also for Yankee history as Clemens could theoretically go in as a Yankee, even though he played more seasons with Boston. Clemens won two World Series with the Yankees. However, Clemens won three of his seven (7!!!!!!) Cy Youngs with Boston as well as his only MVP. Wow. Clemens really needs to be in the Hall of Fame.
Sheffield is a 500 homer guy and that helps his case mighty as 18/27 500 home run guys are in the Hall of Fame and two of those nine that are not in are not yet eligible and the rest of them…used steroids.
Sheffield used steroids, but sheesh, most players were in his era. It is a huge dark stain in baseball…that also saved the game. Itis quite a paradox that Hall of Fame voters seem to be coming around on and once they (hopefully) do, Sheffield should find himself enshrined one day.
However, this is his sixth season on the ballot and he has yet to receive more than 15% of the votes which suggests Sheffield’s only chance of induction will come from the players year down the line.
Quickly looking at the top ten players Sheffield’s career resembles, seven of the ten players are in the Hall of Fame, including Chipper Jones. Out of a score of 1000, Jones and Sheffield compare out at 892.4.
Jones is the first player on this list that also wound up on the Yankees Nation Podcast‘s tournament for Favorite Yankee (that played less than 2 seasons). This means we are sort of reaching while assessing these “former Yankees”.
Regardless, Jones had a fun career, however, for a center fielder, his numbers just do not seem to stand up against other CF’s like Willie Mays. Tough competition, but it is the Hall of Fame. Also, only one of the ten players his career resembles is in the Hall of Fame.
As I mentioned, the similarities in this list are small but cool. Soriano and Jones had a similarity score of 866.8. So if Soriano is not a Hall of Famer, then neither is Jones.
Also, both Jones and Eric Chavez (next up on this list) paid exactly 171 games as a Yankee. Spooky.
This list is now boiling down to some formalities. Chavez has…no chance?…to make the Hall of Fame, but it is still honorably to be on the ballot even if it is just for one rotation.
Chavez had a decent 7-year peak with 31.1, however well below the average third baseman at 43.0.
Chavez was also a well-recognized defender with six gold gloves.
This one game could make Raul a Yankee Hall of Famer.
Ah, memories. Now back to the topic at hand. Raul has exactly one stat that he led the league in and it was playing 162 games in 2005. But hey, that is more black ink than Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. Is Ibanez better than Larkin? No, but it is worth bringing up that black ink is not going to completely make or break a player’s resume.
Roberts played 91 games, all at second base for the Yankees in 2014, his only season in pinstripes (now you remember him?).
Roberts stole 50 bags in 2007 and led the league in doubles twice (50, 2004; 56, 2009).
But sorry Brian Roberts fans, he is just not a Hall of Famer.
If there are any true Yankee fans, they can proudly submit a ballot of all former-Yankees from Derek Jeter, all the way down to Brain Roberts, with all the steroid users in-between.
Featured Image: from Wknight94, wikimediacommons.org