The votes are in! Let’s check in on the winners and losers from Tuesday’s Hall of Fame voting results, which saw Derek Jeter get elected in his first year on the ballot, Larry Walker make it in his final year on the ballot, and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds finish with similar totals as a year ago.
Winner: Derek Jeter
After Mariano Rivera finally broke the 100% barrier last year, Jeter fell one vote short of being a unanimous selection. There will, of course, be a witch hunt for that solitary voter, but let’s not let one misguided voter ruin Jeter’s day.
Jeter’s spot in Cooperstown is secure. Is he the greatest shortstop of all time? No, that’s Honus Wagner or, if you prefer a player who debuted later than 1897, Cal Ripken. Jeter’s career WAR of 72.4 is a lot closer to that of Alan Trammell (70.7) than Ripken (95.9). Still, Jeter’s legacy goes beyond the raw numbers and — overrated, underrated or somewhere in between — he’s a clear inner-circle Hall of Famer, one of the sport’s living icons.
Winner: Larry Walker
Walker’s meteoric rise the past few ballots — he was at 21.9% in 2017 — culminated in a final-year push that raised his total from 54.6% in 2019 to 76.6% this year, just…