Yankees: Who will be the next former Yankee inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Now that Derek Jeter is officially a Hall of Famer who will be the next former Yankees player to join him in Cooperstown?
For the second straight year, we’ll see a Yankees legend inducted into Cooperstown this July after the great Mariano Rivera was honored in 2019. Like Mo, Jeter made it in his first year on the ballot and there should be another record-setting crowd in attendance to watch his induction. After The Captain’s induction, however, it could be a while before we see another former Yankee get the call to the hall.
There are a couple of former Yanks who are still on the ballot after Tuesday’s results in Andy Pettitte, Gary Sheffield, Andruw Jones and Bobby Abreu. Sheffield got the highest percentage of votes this year at 30.5% but this was his sixth year on the ballot. Out of all four players, Pettitte is the only one who would go into the Hall as a Yankee but each one of them is going to face an uphill climb before they ever even get close to being on the doorstep of getting elected.
Don Mattingly and Thurman Munson, two former captains and two of the most beloved Yankees of all time were both on the ballot for the Modern Baseball Era committee this year, but neither one of them received enough votes to be elected. There’s still a chance they’ll both make it back on the ballot in 2022 however after they each got three votes or fewer from the 16 person committee so their day may never come.
When you look at who will be eligible to be voted in for the first time over the next couple of years the former Yankees that stick out the most are Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. They’ll both be on the ballot in 2022, along with former Red Sox DH David Ortiz.
Teixeira is one of the best switch hitters of all time and was on a HOF trajectory but injuries during the second half of his eight-year deal with the Yanks definitely ruined any chance of him ever making it to Cooperstown. A-Rod, of course, has all the numbers to be a first-ballot and potentially unanimous HOFer but he got caught doing steroids twice. Based on the voting results for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in their first eight years on the ballot I think it’s safe to say A-Rod is going to have a very difficult time ever getting in as well.
Carlos Beltran will be on the ballot in 2023 and certainly posted HOF caliber numbers during his 20-year career. Although after it was recently discovered that he was one of the masterminds behind the Astros sign stealing in 2017 I think it could take him some time before he gets back into the good graces of the voters. I think he still has a good shot to make it to the HOF but it won’t be on the first ballot and it could take him five or more years to get there.
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The 2024 ballot features Matt Holliday and Bartolo Colon who both had very solid major league careers but neither one of them is HOF worthy. It’s in 2025 when we could see the next former Yankee get inducted with both CC Sabathia and Ichiro Suzuki on the ballot.
Ichiro spent two and a half years with the Yankees and is a slam dunk first-ballot Hall of Famer. The only question is whether or not he will join Mariano as the only unanimous inductee in history. If guys like Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. can’t get 100% of the vote I doubt they’ll give it to Ichiro, but he’ll definitely get higher than 90% and come close.
As for CC, the numbers he put up over the course of his 19-year career are absolutely Hall of Fame worthy. 251 career wins, 3,093 K’s, and a 3.74 ERA with a CY Young Award and one World Series ring should be enough to earn him first-ballot consideration, but I don’t think it’s going to happen because some of the writers who vote for the HOF are very stubborn.
Instead of voting yes or no as to whether or not they think he’s a Hall of Famer they’ll vote yes or no on whether they think he’s deserving of making it on the first ballot.
That being said, there’s no doubt in my mind CC is going to Cooperstown someday and will be the next inductee with a Yankees cap on his plaque. We just might have to wait until 2026 or 2027 to see it happen.