The results of the BBWAA vote for the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be revealed Tuesday night. Notable names like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen and Alex Rodriguez are among the players on this year’s ballot, but it’s possible no players will be voted in by the writers this year.
The full 2022 ballot can be viewed here. The rules: A player is eligible to be placed on the ballot after five years of retirement. Players who get at least 75 percent of the returned ballots from qualified BBWAA voters gain entry to the Hall of Fame. Those who get below five percent fall off the ballot. Those between five and 75 percent can remain on the ballot for up to 10 years. BBWAA members who are active and in good standing and have been so for at least 10 years can vote for anywhere from zero to 10 players each year.
Keep in mind two different era committees (sometimes called “veterans committees” as a callback to the past) have already elected six new Hall of Famers for the 2022 class: Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges and Minnie Miñoso. So even if there’s another BBWAA shutout, there will be plenty to celebrate in Cooperstown this summer.
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Here are the details for Tuesday’s selection show:
2022 Baseball Hall of Fame class announcement
- Time: 6 p.m. ET | Date: Tuesday, Jan. 25
- TV channel: MLB Network (coverage starts at 4 p.m. ET and lasts four hours)
- Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Below are six storylines to watch for as the vote totals get unveiled Tuesday night. NOTE: When I mention “polling,” I’m talking about Ryan Thibodaux’s ballot tracker (it’s not really a poll so much as gathering ballots, but this is the easiest way to succinctly frame it).
1. Will it be an Ortiz-only reveal?
All signs point to this either being a shutout or one man getting in. David Ortiz has been polling decently above the 75 percent threshold throughout balloting season and it looks like there’s a real shot he’ll get in on his first try. There’s also a realistic possibility that he’ll fall just short with between 70-75 percent of the vote.
That means there is real drama heading into the selection show regarding if someone gets in or not; it’s just only regarding one player.
If you head into the show eager to see if anyone made it, you’re watching to hear if there was one player or none elected by the BBWAA. It’s Big Papi or bust.
2. Low numbers for A-Rod
The other huge name among first-timers on this ballot was, of course, Alex Rodriguez. I’ve already discussed at length why I believe his case is incredibly complicated. We’ve seen the voters not give Manny Ramirez a ton of love, but he was a much less complete player with a lesser overall offensive resume. Since this was A-Rod’s first time on the ballot, we really had no way of knowing just how much support he was garner. We still can’t be sure until the votes are revealed, but polling suggests he won’t even crack 50 percent of the vote. Maybe not even 40. This is certainly something to watch.
3. Swan song for foursome
Though it looks like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have a chance to get to around 65 percent of the vote, that’s not enough to get them in.
Curt Schilling got 71.1 percent of the vote last year and was trending toward induction this year, but he publicly made a big show of asking off the ballot and it has cost him. It looks like he’ll fall well shy of induction.
Sammy Sosa got 17 percent of the vote last year, which was his high-water mark and he might get up into the 20s this year. Still, that isn’t close to 75 percent.
These four are mentioned together because it is their 10th and, therefore, final stint on the ballot. All four will not appear on the 2023 ballot.
Former Marlins president David Samson weighed in on the Hall of Fame announcement on Tuesday’s Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:
4. Watch for gains
Let’s keep a keen eye on the following players:
- Scott Rolen: His gains have been immense, growing from 10.2 percent to 52.9 percent in four tries. Polling suggests another big jump into the 60s. If he gets to the mid-60s — especially knowing how many people are clearing off this ballot — the path will be clear for a 2023 induction.
- Billy Wagner: He’s gone up almost 30 percent in the last three votes, but this is Wagner’s seventh chance on the ballot and it looks like his gains have been modest, to the point that he still might not even hit 50 percent. That would make his chances tenuous moving forward.
- Todd Helton: In just three tries, Helton has gone from 16.5 percent to 29.2 to 44.9. It looks like he’s again taking a leap forward, perhaps up into the mid-50s. If that’s the case, 2024 would be the best bet for his enshrinement, but he’s absolutely on track.
- Gary Sheffield: Sheffield was low-teens through his first five years (2019), but then he jumped to 30.5 percent in 2020 and 40.6 percent last year. The polling shows his momentum might have stopped, however, which wouldn’t bode well for his chances with just two votes left after this one.
- Andruw Jones: Little more than an afterthought lingering on the ballot in his first two years, Jones hit 19.4 percent in 2020 and 33.9 last year. It looks like his momentum is continuing, with a real shot at getting close to 45 percent. This is his fifth year on the ballot and over 40 percent with this kind of recent momentum would mean a real chance at getting there.
- Jeff Kent: He sat in the teens for the first six years on the ballot, then jumped to 27.5 percent in 2020 and 32.4 last year. Polling suggests there hasn’t been any momentum at all, which doesn’t bode well for Kent getting a huge leap to 75 percent next year — his last on the ballot.
- Bobby Abreu: In looking through the publicly available data, Abreu is still a darling for many but hasn’t broken through in a big way just yet. He got 8.7 percent last year and it looks like he might have a shot at 10 percent this year. His Andruw Jones-like breakthrough hasn’t happened in year three, or so it would appear. We’ll find out for sure Tuesday night.
- Jimmy Rollins: In his first year, it’s hard telling what the vote totals will look like when comparing the publicly revealed ballots versus the ones who never reveal their votes. It looks like he’s going to survive the five percent cut-off point, though, and might sit 10-15 percent.
5. Who falls off?
- Mark Buehrle got 11 percent of the vote last year in his first try. He likely survives, but it seems like he’s losing support.
- Tim Hudson only had 5.2 percent of the vote last year and we’ve already seen him lose a small handful of public votes. That’s likely going to seal his fate, though survival is always possible.
- Torii Hunter got 9.5 percent of the vote last year, but is also losing support on public ballots. He might stay on, but it looks like it’ll be close.
- Among first-timers, we’ve seen public votes for Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon and Mark Teixeira, but it would be an upset to see any of them get to five percent of the electorate (Lincecum is the best bet with Nathan next). We’ve yet to see a public ballot cast for Carl Crawford, Jake Peavy, Justin Morneau, Prince Fielder or A.J. Pierzynski.
It’s possible everyone listed here in this subhead fails to reach five percent and is chopped off before next year, but there’s a shot Buehrle, Hudson, Hunter, Lincecum and/or Nathan survive. The best bet is a few from that fivesome and no one else make it. I’ll predict Buehrle, Hunter, Lincecum and Nathan make it.
6. Vizquel’s chances falling apart?
Omar Vizquel debuted on the 2018 ballot with 37 percent of the vote and it rose to 52.6 percent for the 2020 vote. It fell to 49.1 percent last year and this year it’s going to be far less than that, due to several off-field allegations. He’s lost more than 40 votes from those who have cast their ballot for him in the past and is polling around 11 percent.
Team this movement with his less-than-stellar on-field case, notably with advanced metrics (I was a “no” from the get go, for example) and it looks like his chances are slim.