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Derek Jeter, Larry Walker Elected to Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame has two new members. Tuesday night, Yankees legend Derek Jeter and five-tool threat Larry Walker were announced as the newest Hall of Famers during a live MLB Network broadcast.

 

Players must appear on 75 percent of submitted ballots to be inducted into Cooperstown. Walker received 76.6 percent in his 10th and final year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Jeter was one vote short of unanimous in his first year of eligibility. Longtime teammate Mariano Rivera remains the only unanimous selection in Hall of Fame history. Here are the highest voting percentages in history:

 

Across parts of 20 seasons, all with the Yankees, Jeter racked up 3,465 hits; 260 home runs; 544 doubles; 358 stolen bases; five Gold Gloves; 14 All-Star nods; eight finishes in the top 10 of the AL MVP balloting; and the second-most defensive games at shortstop in MLB history (2,674). Jeter won four World Series with the Yankees -- he was MVP of the 2000 World Series -- and batted .308/.374/.465 in 158 career playoff games. Throw in his popularity and strong reputation among voters and Jeter was beyond a lock for election in his first year on the ballot. 

 

Walker played for three teams (Expos, Rockies, Cardinals) in his 17-year career, during which he hit .313/.400/.565 with 383 home runs and 230 stolen bases. He was a five-time All-Star who won seven Gold Glove awards and who received MVP votes in eight seasons, including winning the 1997 National League award. By WAR, Walker is one of the top five outfielders of the last 50 years, though it took him all 10 years on the ballot to get into the Hall of Fame. The Coors Field stigma and injury issues suppressed his support.

 

Curt Schilling, in his eighth year on the ballot, received 70.0 percent of the vote. His voting percentage has steadily increased over the years, and, historically, once a player reaches 70 percent. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, arguably the greatest hitter and pitcher of their generation, continue to remain well short of induction due to performance-enhancing drug ties. Bonds appeared 60.7 percent of submitted ballots, Clemens 61.0 percent. Both have two years of Hall of Fame eligibility remaining, though their support has stagnated in the 50-60 percent range the last few years.

 

Other notables on the Hall of Fame ballot include Omar Vizquel (52.6 percent), Scott Rolen (35.3 percent), Billy Wagner (31.7 percent), and Gary Sheffield (30.5 percent). No other player appeared on at least 30 percent of submitted ballots. Paul Konerko (2.5 percent), Jason Giambi (1.5 percent), and Alfonso Soriano (1.5 percent) are among the notable players to receive less than the five percent necessary to remain on the Hall of Fame ballot another year.

 

Groundbreaking union leader Marvin Miller and eight-time All-Star catcher Ted Simmons were voted into the Hall of Fame by the Modern Era committee last month, posthumously in Miller's case. The Modern Era committee is one of four "era" committees that meets every few years to vote on players who fell off the BBWAA ballot, like Simmons, and personnel not eligible for the BBWAA ballot, like Miller. Whoever gets the necessary 75 percent in the BBWAA vote will be inducted alongside Miller and Simmons in July.

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