The Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome several new members in July. The museum announced on Tuesday that third baseman Adrian Beltre, catcher and first baseman Joe Mauer, and first baseman Todd Helton have been elected to the Hall of Fame by the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Beltre is one of the best third basemen of all time, and in a few months he’ll have the Hall of Fame plaque to prove it. Over his 21-year career, Beltre amassed 3,166 hits and 477 home runs, retiring with a .286/.339/.480 batting line over 2,759 games, more than any other third baseman in history except Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. He played for four teams, but is probably best remembered for the eight years he spent with the Texas Rangers to end his career. (The Dodgers, Mariners, and Red Sox are the other teams he played for.) Beltre was well-liked by his teammates and beloved by fans wherever he went. The Rangers retired his jersey in 2019, the year after he retired.
Joe Mauer, C
Mauer is the second first-ballot Hall of Famer elected this cycle. Over a 15-year career with the Minnesota Twins, Mauer amassed 2,123 hits and 55.2 bWAR, retiring with a .306/.388/.439 average. He was an All-Star six times, won five Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves, and was the 2009 American League MVP. He’s also the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles. A St. Paul native, the Twins chose him with the first overall pick in the 2001 draft, and 18 years later they retired his jersey at Target Field.
Todd Helton, 1B
After missing election last year by just 11 votes, Helton will be just the second player to don a Colorado Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque when he’s inducted in July. Helton spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies, manning first base with defensive ease and hitting unsuspecting baseballs into the stratosphere. He retired with 2,519 hits and 369 home runs — 142 of which were hit outside of the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field. He debuted in 1997 and came in second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1998, and would go on to win four Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves. He was also voted to five All-Star Games.
Near misses: Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield
Wagner was trending in the right direction, with over 78% support on the public ballots. But his support dropped off on the ballots that weren’t revealed before the announcement was made. He ended He’s got one more year left on the ballot before he hits his limit.
This is a tough one for Sheff. He saw a massive jump in support this year since it was his 10th and final year on the ballot. [DETAILS] But the surge wasn’t enough to push him over the induction threshold. He’s now dropped off the ballot, but considering what strong support he saw this year, he could be a shoo-in whenever the veterans committee comes calling.
This post will be updated.