The Hall of Fame election each year captures the hopes of fan bases everywhere. There are the absolute locks that no one is surprised to see get in, but then there are the ballot holdovers that keep inching their way towards election, the Bonds/Clemens grouping that should be locks based purely on numbers but have some suspicions that dampen their legacies, and then there are the longshot cases and the guys that probably just happy to see their names on the ballot.
This year’s ballot looks weaker than many in years past as some of the closer call guys have either gotten in or have dropped off the ballot entirely. Here is the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot.
The 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, as announced by @baseballhall. pic.twitter.com/gBquMDv2hK— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) November 16, 2020
Again, this ballot doesn’t have any surefire inductees and it is entirely possible that no one gets in. Bonds and Clemens are the big names by the numbers, but questions surrounding their potential use of PEDs has kept their voting percentages in the low 60’s. That said, with fewer names that would normally snag votes automatically, they could see a jump in support this year towards that 75% threshold for induction.
For Braves fans, while Fred McGriff is no longer on the ballot, there are two players to keep an eye on. Andruw Jones, who saw a jump in consideration last year after struggling to stay on the ballot and who is perennially under-appreciated nationally, enters his fourth year on the ballot. Arguably the best defensive centerfielder we have seen play the game, Jones accumulated 62.7 rWAR in his career with 434 home runs and 152 stolen bases. He still is a longshot for induction this year, but one can expect a jump in support to keep his hopes alive down the line.
The Braves also have a newcomer to the ballot in Tim Hudson. While Huddy spent the first six seasons of his career with Oakland, he spent the next nine seasons with the Braves. In his career, he amassed 57.9 rWAR with 222 wins and 2080 strikeouts in 3126.2 innings. While his case is very shaky especially since he doesn’t have a lot of individual accolades on his resume, he is beloved across the league and has some things going for him. If there is any justice in the world, he should at least stay on the ballot for a while.