The National Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced the names of former MLB players on the official 2022 ballot.
Nominees include prominent holdovers and well-known names who are up for consideration for the first time. The final results of the voting will be released on Jan. 25, 2022.
If an eligible player does not receive 5% of the BBWAA’s votes in any year over 10 years, then that player will be excluded from future consideration. Candidates who receive 75% of the vote at any point are elected to the Hall.
In some years, the BBWAA has voted no one into the Hall (like last year). The Golden Days Era Committee can select a rejected candidate for inclusion in the HOF in future years.
For this year’s ballot, former Yanks Bobby Abreu and Andruw Jones are two returnees, but they are not discussed here. Abreu played for the club his last two years in the league, and Jones did for three years close to the end of his career. Last year (his second time on the ballot), Abreu received only 8.7% of the writers’ votes. Jones (his fourth time on the ballot) was only able to garner 33.9% of voters’ support. These players are unlikely to gain entry into the HOF in 2022 or beyond.
But here are five Yankees that have a legitimate chance, even if it’s looking grim for most of them.
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5. Roger Clemens
Clemens is one of the top pitchers of his era and of all time. During the 13 seasons he played for the Boston Red Sox (1984-96), the right-hander received the 1986 AL MVP and three AL Cy Young Awards. The Rocket signed with the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1996 season as a free agent. He won the Cy Young Award in 1997 and 1998 with them before he was traded to the Yanks and helped New York win World Series titles in 1999 and 2000. He won his sixth career Cy Young in 2001. He played for the Yanks for another two years after that.
Clemens won an astonishing seventh Cy Young in 2004 with the Houston Astros. During 2005, his age-42 campaign, he earned a career-best 1.87 ERA in 32 starts with the ‘Stros.
He finished his career after re-signing with the Bombers in 2007, his final MLB season. Clemens call it quits with an eye-popping 139.2 WAR, a 65.9 WAR7, and a 102.6 JAWS.
The Rocket’s achievements on the mound should have made him a shoo-in for selection to the HoF. However, his strength coach, Brian McNamee, testified in court that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs multiple times from 1998-2001. His close friend Andy Pettitte reported that Clemens told him that he was using PEDs, too.
Consequently, like Barry Bonds, Clemens has been denied entrance into the Hall for nine years. The Rocket received 61.6% of the vote last year. Yankee fans can expect him to fall short of the 75% threshold his final year of eligibility. Disappointing.