Tuesday, we got that answer…with Rivera getting all of the 425 votes possible.
Joining baseball’s all-time saves leader in Cooperstown were fellow first-timer Roy Halladay (85.4%), Mike Mussina (76.7%) and, finally, Edgar Martinez (85.4%).
A year from now, another no-brainer looks to secure his place among the immortals as well as a few who could, like Martinez, challenge the Hall of Fame’s ten-year rule.
So, with just ten months until the 2020 Hall of Fame ballots are sent out…let’s get to the first ballot nominees!
DEREK JETER. With five World Series rings and 3465 hits, Derek Jeter will have absolutely no issues when it comes to making it into the Hall of Fame. Matter of fact, dude is one of those rare cases where the BBWAA could’ve saved everyone’s time by just putting him in the minute after he retired.
ON THE BUBBLE.
BOBBY ABREU. Fun fact. Bobby Abreu fell a dozen home runs short of becoming just the third player (and the first not named Bonds) to hit 300 home runs and steal 400 bases. However…fun facts don’t get guys inducted into the Hall of Fame and a lot of times they struggle to even make it to a second ballot.
PAUL KONERKO. 439 home runs is pretty awesome, but not good enough. And you better believe Chicago White Sox fans will grouse when Paul Konerko falls off the ballot after one year.
ADAM DUNN. Nearly half (49.9%) of Adam Dunn’s 8328 plate appearances resulted in a home run (462), a walk (1317) or a strikeout (2379). It means absolutely nothing…but is fun to mention.
JASON GIAMBI. Looking at pictures of Jason Giambi standing alongside the likes of Rivera and Jeter (and even Alex Rodriguez!) during their collective New York Yankees heyday and you’d think he’d waltz right into the Hall of Fame. Sadly…the numbers just aren’t there. Not even close.
CLIFF LEE. Is Cliff Lee the “poor man’s Roy Oswalt” or vice versa? Either way, just like Oswalt, it’s possible the 2008 American League Cy Young award winner might not even make it to a second ballot.
ALFONSO SORIANO. Early in his career, the onetime 40-40 guy looks like he might have a shot at the Hall of Fame. Then reality set it.
THE OTHER ELIGIBLES. Josh Beckett, Heath Bell, Eric Chavez, Kyle Farnsworth, Chone Figgins, Rafael Furcal, Raul Ibanez, Lyle Overbay, Carlos Pena, Brad Penny, JJ Putz, Brian Roberts, Marco Scutaro and Jose Valverde.