Lauren Alperstein | CNBC
Yankees legend Derek Jeter was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame 2020 class on Tuesday, but fell one vote short of a unanimous selection.
Larry Walker, who won a National League MVP award, and played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals, was also voted into the Hall of Fame.
Jeter appeared on 396 of 397 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, falling just shy of the standard set when longtime Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous selection last year.
It was not immediately known which voter didn’t choose Jeter, who was listed on all 219 ballots made public before the announcement. The BBWAA will release additional ballots on Feb. 4 of writers who chose a public listing.
Walker appeared on 304 ballots, six above the 75% needed, in his 10th and final appearance on the BBWAA ballot, up from 54.6% last year.
Pitcher Curt Schilling was third with 278 votes (70%) in his eighth ballot appearance, an increase from 60.9% but still 20 votes shy. The steroids-tainted pair of Roger Clemens (61%) and Barry Bonds (60.7%) both showed slight increases. Bonds rose from 59.1% last year and Clemens from 59.5%.
Jeter, 45, played all 20 of his Major League Baseball years with the Yankees and helped the team secure five championships. He was named the 2000 World Series Most Valuable Player. The 1996 American League Rookie of the Year made 14 All-Star Games appearances, won five Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger awards.
Known as “Mr. November” for his game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, Jeter retired after the 2014 season, finishing his career with 3,465 hits (the sixth-most in MLB history), 11,195 at-bats (the seventh-most), and 1,923 runs scored (the 11th-most); also 260 career home runs and 1,311 RBI in 2,747 games.
“Derek is the most focused baseball player I’ve ever been around,” former Seattle Mariners second baseman and current MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds told CNBC via email. “His only goal at the end of the year was to win a World Series. If the Yankees didn’t win the World Series, he considered the season a failure. It was never about him. It was always about the team.”
Walker hit .313 with .383 homers, 1,311 RBIs and 230 stolen bases for Montreal (1989-94), Colorado (1995-2004) and St. Louis (2004-05), a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner. He led the major leagues in batting average in 1998, 1999 and 2001.
Evaluating his offensive performance gave some baseball writers difficulty because he spent 9 1/2 seasons hitting at home in the thin air of Denver’s Coors Field. Walker batted .381 with an 1.172 OPS and 154 home runs in 597 games at Coors and .282 with 229 homers and an .873 OPS in 1,391 games elsewhere, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
He received just 20.3% in his first ballot appearance in 2011 and dropped as low as 10.2% in 2014. He rose to 21.9% in 2017 before jumping to 34.1% in 2018.
Walker became the second Canadian-born player elected to the Hall after Ferguson Jenkins in 1991.
Jeter and Walker will be inducted on July 26 at the Hall in Cooperstown along with catcher Ted Simmons and former players’ association head Marvin Miller, who were voted in last month by the Hall’s Modern Era Committee.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.