One step closer. Derek Jeter has been a “future Hall of Famer” since the middle of his playing career, but the fantasy is beginning to feel real after Monday’s 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot reveal.
Jeter retired in 2014 after parts of 20 seasons in pinstripes. A five-time World Series champion—1996, 1998, 1999, 2000,
not 2003 haha, and 2009—who has played more playoff games than anybody else, he posted a .310/.377/.440 career slash line with 260 home runs and 3,465 hits. The former first-round draft pick maintained a surprisingly controversy-free image off the field despite the scrutiny and temptations that come with being an everyday player in the nation’s largest media market. For baseball fans growing up in my generation, Jeter was the indisputable “face of baseball.”
The only suspense surrounding Jeter’s candidacy is whether or not he will be elected unanimously. Last year, longtime Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera became the first-ever player to receive 100% support from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). The threshold for induction is 75%.
The five former Fish players on the 2020 ballot are right-handed pitchers Josh Beckett, Heath Bell and Brad Penny, infielder Rafael Furcal and outfielder Gary Sheffield. Although Sheffield figures to survive for another year (5% of the votes required to remain on the ballot; he got 13.6% in 2019), all the others are in jeopardy of being one-and-done.