COOPERSTOWN – The Baseball Hall of Fame’s ballot for next year’s Induction is being mailed this week to the 400 voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. It includes pitcher Mariano Rivera among 20 new candidates.
Others include pitchers Roy Halladay and Andy Pettitte; infielders Todd Helton, Michael Young, Miguel Tejada and Plácido Polanco; and outfielder Juan Pierre will join 15 holdovers from the 2018 balloting
Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election.
Falling 20 votes shy of the required total for election last year was third baseman/designated hitter Edgar Martínez, who in his ninth year of eligibility polled 297 votes (70.4 percent). Also named on more than half the ballots were pitchers Mike Mussina (63.5) and Roger Clemens (57.3), outfielder Barry Bonds (56.4) and pitcher Curt Schilling (51.2).
Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote. Martínez and first baseman Fred McGriff are on the ballot for their 10th-and-final time. Other holdovers from the 2018 ballot are pitcher Billy Wagner, second baseman Jeff Kent, third baseman Scott Rolen, shortstop Omar Vizquel and outfielders Andruw Jones, Manny Ramírez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa and Larry Walker.
Rivera spent all 19 of his major-league seasons with the New York Yankees, was a key figure in five World Series championships, set career records in saves (652) and games finished (952) and shares the mark for most seasons with 40 or more saves (9).
Halladay, another noted new contender, died while piloting an aircraft in 2017 at the age of 40. He’d won Cy Young Awards in both leagues, with the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL in 2003 and with the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League in 2010.
This year’s inductees were Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman.