Yankees: Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame class might not add more members
New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter might not be sharing the stage with any more Hall of Fame inductees in 2021.
Yankees superstar Derek Jeter was poised to be coronated among the game’s greatest in the summer of 2020 — then, a little global pandemic got in the way.
Remember when the most controversial thing about Jeter’s selection was his lack of unanimity? Better times.
Now, Jeter’s class, also featuring Rockies star Larry Walker, Cardinals/Brewers catcher Ted Simmons, and free agency pioneer Marvin Miller, will be joined together with the 2021 class for one, big celebration next summer.
Only issue? The 2021 ballot doesn’t include any impressive, slam-dunk candidates. And the fact that the Jeter class exists and there will be a celebration next summer regardless of what the writers do seems to have changed their calculus. The early ballots being returned indicate there’s a solid chance that no one else will be selected this winter.
And maybe that’s a good thing? There are plenty of candidates who deserve a second look on this particular ballot, like Scott Rolen and Billy Wagner. There are also controversial cases like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
But there certainly isn’t an easy selection here, and nobody deserves to slide through to the Hall’s hallowed halls simply because there was no one else to pick.
Two submissions out of 12 have been entirely blank thus far. That should tell you something. And those that have been filled in have not been providing very reliable data.
By far the player with the strongest chance of being selected to the supplementary group this year is (shudders) Red Sox and Diamondbacks playoff ace Curt Schilling.
Already a borderline candidate for his on-field work (there are plenty of bad years mixed in with the October heroics), Schilling has done nothing to help his candidacy by being a corrosive far-right figure in recent years. The gristly feelings have nothing to do with his politics, and everything to do with his gleeful endorsement of, say, a t-shirt encouraging the hanging of journalists.
Luckily, for all those of us concerned about Schilling being the sole new candidate to share a stage with Jeter and bloviate all over Cooperstown, these blank ballots tell a more preferable story.