Philadelphia’s streak of ballplayers selected to the Hall of Fame did not extend to three-straight years on Monday night.
Despite having notable ex-Phillies on the ballot such as Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreu, and Cliff Lee, the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 is comprised of just two.
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter fell just one vote shy of becoming the second player ever to receive a unanimous Hall-of-Fame induction from the Baseball Writers Association of America, earning 396 of 397 votes. He is joined by Larry Walker, who snuck in by six votes.
Schilling, who also had notable stints with the Diamondbacks, and Red Sox, fell just short of the mandatory 75-percent approval mark with 70-percent of the vote in his eighth year of eligibility.
Rolen — considered one of the top third basemen of his generation — garnered just 35.3-percent of the vote in his third year of eligibility. Abreu picked up 5.5-percent on his first year on the ballot
To return to next year’s ballot, a candidate must earn at least five-percent of the vote, meaning Cliff Lee will not be featured on the 2021 ballot.
It was never a question if Jeter would get the call to the Hall in his first year of eligibility given his expansive and successful resume.
Jeter ranks sixth on Major League Baseball’s all-time hit list with 3,465, trailing only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Tris Speaker. Four of those five are Hall of Famers with Rose being the lone exception after he was given a lifetime ban in 1989 for betting on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Yankees’ all-time hit leader is also one of the storied franchise’s most successful products after being drafted sixth overall in the 1992 MLB Draft out of Central HS in Kalamazoo, MI.
Over his 20-year career, Jeter was selected to 14 All-Star Games, won the 2000 All-Star Game MVP in Atlanta, and took home five Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards.
Above all Jeter is one of the most successful postseason performers in MLB history, helping the Yankees to five World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.
He still holds MLB postseason records for hits (200), total bases (302), doubles (32) and triples (5). He also ranks third in home runs (20), fourth in RBI (61), and sixth in stolen bases (18).
While he had memorable postseason moments like the Jeffrey Maier-fueled home run in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS or the game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, Jeter’s masterstroke came in the 2000 World Series against the crosstown-rival Mets when he slashed .409/.480/.864 with two home runs to win the Fall Classic MVP Award.
All the while, he made connections to mundane verbs such as “The Flip” and “The Dive”.
While Jeter breezed past the 75-percent voting threshold that unlocks the doors of the Hall to baseball’s best, Walker was the only other allowed in of the 31 remaining candidates.
Larry Walker, who was one of the best pure hitters in the game during the late 1990s and early 2000s, received 304 votes when 298 were needed.
In 17 seasons with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals, Walker slashed .313/.400/.565 with 2,160 hits and 383 home runs.
From 1997-2001 with the Rockies, Walker hit .350 or better four times, led the National League in batting average three times and on-base percentage twice.
That included a National League MVP Award in 1997 when he batted .366 with 49 home runs and 130 RBI.
Noted PED users, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, also fell short in their eighth years of eligibility.
Bonds, the home-run king with 762 career round-trippers, accrued 60.7-percent of the vote. Clemens, who ranks ninth with 354 wins and third with 4,672 strikeouts, was just ahead at 61-percent of the vote.