Hey baseball fans!
Happy New Year! It's January, which means we are less than a month away until the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees are announced. In honor of the Hall-iday season, it's time we dive into the votes. As is customary here in Baseball with Matt, I'll do an "If I Had a Hall of Fame Ballot" post later in the month, but for now, let's look at some individual players, like the Captain himself.
Derek Jeter is a Hall of Famer, no question about it. He's a fourteen-time All Star, five-time Gold Glover, five-time Silver Slugger, five-time World Series champion, 2000 World Series MVP, and currently sits at sixth place on the all-time hits list with 3,465 career base knocks. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Jeter will get the 75% required for Cooperstown induction. But that's not the question on everyone's mind. The real question revolving around Jeter that will be a hot topic of debate for years to come is the title of this post: will Jeter's induction be unanimous and does he deserve it? In my opinion, yes and maybe.
First off, Jeter should be unanimous. Many people who I've talked to argue that Jeter isn't the best shortstop ever or that he's not the best contact hitter ever, so that's why he won't get 100% of the BBWAA vote. But that's a holistic approach to the Hall of Fame that I dislike. Here's how I think of the Hall of Fame vote: if three out of four people think you're a Hall of Famer, you're a Hall of Famer. It's as simple as that. With Jeter, each individual person asks themselves if he's deserving of Cooperstown and purely based on the audience, let alone his numbers, everyone should think so. The BBWAA is composed of writers and media, hence the "W" in the BBWAA, and Jeter was known for being great with the press. Sure, his tenure in the front office with the Marlins has been putrid at best, but many people like Jeter as a person and the people who don't will respect him and his career stats. He was never in any steroids talk and was the King of New York for two decades. Literally no one is saying he's not a Hall of Famer, meaning he'll get 100% of the vote.
Now, whether or not he deserves the honor of a unanimous election is questionable. Mariano Rivera, Jeter's teammate for almost their entire careers, got in unanimously, the first player to do so. Many people thought Mo was deserving of this unique classification because he's the best closer baseball has ever seen. Jeter, like I mentioned before, is not the greatest anything. He's not even the greatest Yankee and surely not the greatest front office person. The problem with this new "unanimous" talk is that it's so new. There's no real precedent for it, compared to overall Hall of Fame voting. And even if there was precedent, unanimous elects will be a part of an elite and exclusive club. We'll have very few examples for comparison for this category in a hundred years, let alone right now.
So, again. Everyone will think that Jeter is a Hall of Famer. It's the question of whether he truly is a "unanimous" Hall of Famer that will be raised for years to come. And who knows? Saves are so common now compared to when Mo broke records that maybe we won't consider him unanimous in fifty years. Either way, I'm very excited to officially see one of my childhood heroes join the other Yankee greats in Cooperstown in July. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."