Evaluating Yankees’ chances to make Baseball Hall of Fame after 2021 ballot reveal

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees reacts after the Yankees turned a double play to end the top of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees reacts after the Yankees turned a double play to end the top of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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The New York Yankees are overloading the 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Some are longshots. Most are no-gos. But does anyone have a chance?

Yankees fans packed Cooperstown yet again in July 2020 to celebrate the induction of Derek Jet–I’m sorry? That got postponed? Massive global pandemic? Why is this the first I’m hearing of this?

Jeter will be enshrined among the game’s immortals next summer in 2021, alongside Rockies legend Larry Walker, ex-Cardinal and Brewer Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller, the man who helped empower the players to explore free agency.

But will anyone from the 2021 ballot join these fine folks? Last summer, we faced the prospect of a mega-induction next time around, with both classes mashed together like a Girl Talk B-Side. Now that the official ’21 ballot’s been released, though? Eh. Not so sure.

Of the first-time-appearing names, there’s no one who really stands out as a slam dunk. As much as we all enjoyed Shane Victorino’s pre-Red Sox days or Barry Zito’s guitar solos, they’re not getting elevated to immortality.

You also may have noticed that, thanks to the holdovers and imports, there are now a ton of Yankees swimming around in this pool.

So, will any of them make it soon? Do any Yanks have even a nominal shot at glory?

We’ve done our best to evaluate their odds, and…they’re not pretty. But as far as participation trophies go, appearing on the Hall ballot is a pretty good one!

Yankees
Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees (Photo credit should read KATHY WILLENS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Yankees: Returning Baseball Hall of Fame Candidates

Roger Clemens: 65% Chance

Perhaps I’m bullish here, but I tend to believe that both Clemens and Bonds will eventually trend into the Hall after they’ve served their maximum amount of penance.

This is the second-to-last opportunity for both men to get elected and this is probably the weakest ballot they’ll ever be a part of. Of those who were left behind, only Omar Vizquel and Curt Schilling are close to leaping over the threshold, and Schilling presents a moral conundrum for those evaluating his Hall chances.

For me, I’d rather induct two players who thrived in an era pockmarked by overwhelming steroid abuse than vote for someone like Schilling who wants me hanged from a tree. This isn’t the year, but it’ll happen.

Gary Sheffield: 35% Chance

Sheffield, however, falls victim to the darker side of the Steroid Era. Like Sammy Sosa, most writers have no idea if he would’ve hit the type of numerical threshold necessary to be taken seriously as a candidate without the help of performance-enhancers. Sheff was a fearsome hitter, but the “500 home run” mark is all he really has to separate him from the “goods” and land him among the greats. Unless Cooperstown really opens up and, say, ushers Jeff Kent and Rafael Palmeiro in, this probably isn’t going to work out.

Add in Sheffield’s journeyman status, and you have a problem here.