The National Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome three former players to their ranks in 2024. On Tuesday, the museum in upstate New York announced that Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer were elected to the Hall of Fame by the baseball writers.
Beltré (95.1% of the votes) and Mauer (76.1%) were each appearing on the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) ballot for the first time. They become the 59th and 60th first-ballot Hall of Famers. Helton was making his sixth appearance on the ballot, and achieved 79.7% in balloting.
The former All-Stars will be inducted this July in Cooperstown with former manager Jim Leyland, who was elected by a special committee last December.
The last time at least three players were elected from the BBWAA ballot in one year came in 2019, when Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, and Mike Mussina were elected.
Gary Sheffield made his tenth and final appearance on a BBWAA ballot, and fell shy of the 75% threshold needed for induction, at 63.9%.
Also falling off the ballot were José Bautista, Bartolo Colon, Adrián González, Matt Holliday, Victor Martinez, Brandon Phillips, José Reyes, and James Shields, all of whom had their names on the writers the ballot for the first time.
Former relief pitcher Billy Wagner finished five votes short of election. Wagner has one more year on the BBWAA ballot. Former outfielder Andruw Jones, who has gained more than 100 votes in the last three election cycles, also missed election, coming in at 61.6%.
The best showing for a first ballot candidate who was not elected was by former second baseman Chase Utley with 28.8%. His lofty figure bodes well for the former Phillies’ great. No candidate who has garnered at least 28% in his first year has failed to be elected later.
2024 Baseball Hall of Fame Election Results
Beltré is 19th third baseman elected
Beltré played 21 seasons and produced an impressive number of All-Star caliber seasons. He finished second in National League Most Valuable Player voting when he was 25, and seventh in AL MVP voting when he was 37, a testament to his longevity and performance across many years. He was never the greatest player on his teams, but he was a superb talent who five Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards. He is one of only 33 players to garner 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball history.
Helton is second player elected who starred for Rockies
The voters took their time honoring Helton, finally electing him in his sixth appearance on the BBWAA ballot. Helton played his entire career for the Colorado Rockies, and he produced more than 2,500 hits, hit 369 home runs, and batted .316 in a 17-year career.
Some voters discounted Helton’s career batting performance because of his years spent in Denver where the air is thin. Inexplicably they seemed to ignore his 855 OPS on the road, which ranked eighth in MLB during his career. Gradually, thanks to the support of many in the analytics community and his former managers and teammates, Helton gained support. He joins former teammate Larry Walker as the only Hall of Famers who spent considerable time playing for the Rockies.
Former batting champion Mauer is 20th catcher honored
In a career spent solely with his hometown Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer won three batting titles, an MVP award, and fashioned a .306 batting average. With a sweet left-handed swing, Mauer was a staple for the Twins, earning six All-Star nods, five Silver Slugger Awards, and four top ten finishes in MVP voting.
Born in St. Paul, Mauer was a remarkably popular figure for the Twins, and he spent 10 of his 15 years wearing the mask as Minnesota’s catcher. He transitioned to first base and designated hitter for the last few seasons of his career. In 2009, Mauer batted .365, the highest average by a catcher in AL or NL history.
Only 20 players who primarily played catcher have now been elected, tying it with third base for the least represented in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ichiro and Sabathia lead 2025 Hall of Fame candidates
The 2025 ballot will see the additions of CC Sabathia and Ichiro Suzuki, who will be the biggest names to draw votes. Suzuki, who accumulated more than 3,000 hits in the United States, and more than 4,000 including his professional career in Japan, should be a first ballot no doubter. Sabathia holds the American League career record for strikeouts by a lefthanded pitcher, and his 62.3 Wins Above Replacement is the highest figure for a new candidate in 2025. Other first-timers will be contemporary former second basemen Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia, and pitching superstar Félix Hernández.