Looking Ahead to Future Hall of Fame Classes

Recently I posted articles reviewing this year’s BBWAA ballot for the Hall of Fame. Today I decided to look ahead to who will be on future ballots through 2024, and to play Nostradamus (Nostradumbass?) about who will get in each year.
First, have you enjoyed the classes of three or more players each year? I have…but it’s over for at least the next five years (not counting veterans committees selections).

I’m already on record here as saying I think this year only Derek Jeter gets inducted via the BBWAA.  The second best player in his first year on the ballot, Bobby Abreu, I think never gets selected except maybe by a future Today’s Game Committee.  I think Curt Schilling climbs to the mid-high 60% range.  Clemens and Bonds might increase 1-2%, maybe.  Larry Walker is in his 10th year, but as he got 54% of the vote last year, the leap for this year is just too big.  It’ll be up to a future Today’s Game Committee to fix that failure.

2021… The best new players will be Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, and Torii Hunter.  None of them has the 60 WAR Bobby Abreu does.  Abreu’s not getting in, and neither are they.  The best guess here is that this is when Schilling gets picked.  Of course, it’s also an election year next year and thus rife with opportunity for him to make an ass of himself…and thus keep himself out of the Hall.  Next year the iterations of the veterans committee will be both the Golden Days Committee (players from 1950-1969) and the Early Baseball Committee (pre-1950 players).  Thus, if Schilling isn’t elected, it’s quite possible there will be no living player inducted in 2021. Cooperstown is dependent upon the tourism income for the HoF, and it’s a disaster to them if HoF induction week is a dud.  Here’s hoping Schilling plays nice, at least enough to not screw things up for next year.

2022…The best new players will be: Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Mark Texeira, Jimmy Rollins, and Justin Morneau.  It’s also the 10th and final year on the ballot for Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa (and Curt Schilling if not elected yet).  This is where the anti-Bonds and Clemens rule (shortening potential time on the ballot from 15 to 10 years) really plays the role it was designed to play.  When the BBWAA purged the voting rolls of members who no longer actively covered the sport, Clemens and Bonds both had a surge in their support. Since then they have climbed 1-2% each year, roughly coinciding with numbers of new voters joining in and older voters retiring. At that pace, they’ll never make it to the 75% needed for selection by 10 years…but might have if they had 15 years on the ballot. Observe the power of the Empire’s fully armed and operational battle station.  Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez will become the poster boy of should-be inner circle Hall of Famer but will not get elected due to the PED taint with the departure of Clemens and Bonds. I have less sympathy for him since he violated actual rules whereas Clemens’ and Bonds’ use came before said rules were put in place. Texeira, Rollins, and Morneau were all excellent players, and none will be elected. Heads are going to explode though when David Ortiz becomes a first ballot Hall of Famer despite being one of the names leaked as supposedly testing positive for an unnamed PED in the supposed-to-be-anonymous survey testing in 2003.  As a reminder, that was the testing that resulted in rules being in place as of 2004.  Many will scream loudly despite his never failing formal testing from 2004 on, and only the unconfirmed leak from 2003.  I can see Murray Chass going catatonic with rage now. It’ll be fun, especially when he’s the only inductee that year.

2023…The best new players will be Carlos Beltran and John Lackey.  It’ll be Jeff Kent’s 10th year; he won’t get inducted.  My guess is Beltran does, and so does Omar Vizquel in his 7th year.

2024.., The best new players will be: Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, David Wright, and Bartolo Colon.  It’ll be Gary Sheffield’s 10th and final year, and he won’t get picked.  Beltre will fly in easily.  I’m going to guess Mauer gets in barely (but wouldn’t be surprised if he has to wait a couple years).  I think Utley gets in too, but not on the first ballot.

There you have it.  I’m guessing 7 new Hall of Famers via the BBWAA ballot over the next 5 years.

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