New York Yankees Legend Pitcher A Shoe-In For Hall Of Fame

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Much of the conversation around the New York Yankees is Harper, Machado, or Neither? Who completes our pitching staff? Will we bring back D-Rob? I have decided to take a break from the speculation and fans with “Sources” and give you a fun little history lesson.

This week, the 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot was released. Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, and Andy Pettitte are some of the former Yankees with a chance to enter the Hall of Fame this year. Over the next decade several others, some who played their whole career in the Bronx, some who were all-stars with the Yankees but played elsewhere at point, and others who played with the Yankees for a short period of time at the end of their careers. I’m going to help you plan trips to Cooperstown by predicting what Yankees will get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Class of 2013 Mariano Rivera and Lou Piniella: Mo is a no-doubter. He won’t be unanimous, because nobody has been unanimous, but he could break the record for highest percentage of the vote which is held by Ken Griffey Jr., who got all but three votes. The undisputed GOAT has a record 652 Saves, made 13 All-Star appearances, and has an 0.70 ERA in the postseason.

Lou Piniella played and managed the Yankees, but will go into the Hall of Fame as a Manager. He is one of the nominations for the Veteran’s Committee nominees. Of the ten players on nominated, he received the votes in his previous appearance on the ballot with seven. After playing 10 years with the Yankees, Piniella managed the Yankees to 90 Wins in 1986 and 89 Wins in 1987. He was fired by the Yankees, but was re-hired 68 games into the 1988 season after George Steinbrenner fired Billy Martin… again. He only won 45 out of 93 games that year and was fired again. However, after a year out of baseball he led the Cincinnati Reds to the 1990 World Series, the only World Series title he won as a Manager. After a losing season in 1991, he won 90 games for the Reds in his last season with the team in 1992. In 17 seasons, with the Mariners, Rays, and Cubs, he won 3 Manager of the Year Awards and managed the 2001 Mariners to a Major League regular season record 116 wins. As a player, Piniella was a fan favorite in his 11 seasons in New York and hit .295. He was a member of the 1977 and 1978 championship teams.

Class of 2020 Derek Jeter and Mike Mussina: Like Mo, Derek Jeter, is a undisputed first ballot Hall of Famer. Jeter, the former Yankee Captain and member of the Core Four, is sixth all-time in hits and 11th in runs scored. He was also a 14 time and all-star and is one of few players to win the All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same year.

According to many Mike Mussina should already be in the Hall of Fame. Moose received 63.5 percent of the Hall of Fame vote last year. There is a chance that he gets the 75 percent needed this year, but 12 percent is a big jump for one year. He won 270 games in his career and had a career 3.68 ERA despite playing is one of the greatest offensive eras in the history of baseball.  All five of Mussina’s all-star appearances came in Baltimore, but he did win two Gold Glove with the Yankees and went 123-72 with a 3.88 ERA in the Bronx. He retired in 2008 after winning 20 games, something only C.C Sabathia has done with the Yankees since. Mussina had the misfortune of joining the Yankees the year after the won the 2000 World Series and he retired the year before the won the 2009 World Series title, making him one of the greatest Yankees never to win a World Series in pinstripes.

Class of 2021 Roger Clemens: Personally I do not think steroid users should be in the Hall of Fame, but I think 2021 is the year that Roger Clemens (and Barry Bonds) get into the Hall of Fame. First of all, the have been trending upwards the past few years. Secondly, outside of Jeter and Mo, the next few first ballot groups are weak. I think Roy Halladay and Todd Helton will get in. I think Omar Vizquel, who was on the ballot for the first time last year, will eventually get in. Meanwhile guys like Fred McGriff and Larry Walker, who should both be in, will fall of the ballot in the next two years. Clemens, who started his career with our arch rivals, the Boston Red Sox, joined the Yankees at 36 years old in 1999 and played with us until 2003. He came back for one final season with the Yankees in 2007. Although his ERA was just over four with the Yankees, he was 83-42 and struck out over 1,000 batters with the Yankees. The Yankees made the World Series four out of his six seasons in the Bronx, winning in 99 and 2000.

Class of 2022 George Steinbrenner: His third time on the veteran’s committee ballot will proof to be the charm for The Boss. George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973, while they were in the middle of their second longest championship drought and turned them back to into winners. The Yankees won their first championship under The Boss in 1977. Overall, George oversaw 11 pennants and seven World Series titles. He was known for his unpredictable personality, firing managers, and doing everything it takes to win, including sending a lot of money on free agents. His presence is still missed today.

Class of 2023 Alex Rodriguez and Graig Nettles: Clemens and Bonds entering the Hall of Fame opens the door to other PED’s users, however since they had to wait, others will wait too. A-Rod is first eligible in 2022, but will be snubbed by the writer’s his first time around. A-Rod’s time in The Bronx was always unicorns and rainbows. He was criticized by fans and the media for his postseason struggles throughout his tenure with the Yankees, he was suspended for the Biogenesis Scandal, and he didn’t live up to the second massive contract he got. However, a 33 home run comeback season in 2015, helped repair his image as he led the Yankees to the AL Wild Card Game. He reached many milestones with the Yankees including his 400th, 500th, and 600th home run, his 3,000th hit, and the only World Series title of his career.

Graig Nettles is should be a candidate on the next few Modern Baseball Era Committee ballots. There is a bit of logjam so his induction could take place anywhere from 2020 to 2025. I think he will get passed over next year in favor of Ted Simmons, who barely missed induction this year, and Bobby Grich. Nettles was one of the first key piece of the late 70’s early 80’s dynasties to arrive in New York. In 11 seasons with the Yankees, he hit 250 Home Runs, made five All-Star Games, and won two Gold Gloves at Third Base. Advanced stats like WAR should help Nettles case. He has a higher WAR than Hall of Famers Home Run Baker, Pie Traynor, and George Kell. Using the JAWS Method (Jaffe WAR Score System), which takes the media of a players total WAR and the WAR during the player’s seven year peak, Nettles is just .5 points below the average Hall of Famer.

Warning to those attending this year’s ceremony, there is a chance Big Papi will also be inducted to the Hall of Fame this year so beware of Sox fans at the ceremony.

Class of 2024 Carlos Beltran: Carlos Beltran was known more for his Royals and Mets days, but he was a teammate of A-Rod’s in 2015 and 2016. Despite being on the downside of his career, Beltran made an All-Star Game appearance with the Yankees in 2016. He was traded to the Rangers later than year, but his traded made room for a young 6’7″ outfielder Aaron Judge to receive playing time during the stretch run that year. The switch hitter had a reputation has a clutch postseason hitter.

Class of 2024 or 25 Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement earlier this season. However, the Mariners open next season in Japan, which leads some to think he will temporarily end his retirement so he can play in Japan one more time. Regardless of when he retires, Ichiro will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Like Beltran, came to the Yankees when he was already past his prime. His two most memorable moments with the Yankees were his 4,000th professional baseball (MLB and Japan combined) hit and a 9th inning home run to help force extra innings in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS.

Class of 2026 C.C Sabathia: C.C Sabathia hinted that the 2019 season will be his last year. I do not think he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but he should make it relatively quickly. Sabathia is only 14 strikeouts away from 3,000 for his career. Every pitcher who has struck out 3,000 batters in their careers has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, expect for Clemens and Curt Schilling, both of whom I think will get in eventually. After going 74-29 with a 3.22 ERA in his first four seasons with the Yankees, struggled with injuries, alcoholism, and ineffectiveness for much of the next three seasons. However, he has become more of a control pitcher instead of a power pitcher and has rejuvenated his career.

Class of 2030 Robinson Cano: Obviously Robinson Cano hasn’t made any indication of when he’ll retire, but his contract with the Mariners expires in 2023, when will turn 41 in October. He is on his way to 3,000 hits and was well on his way to a first ballot induction before he failed a drug test and was suspended for 80 games last year. Like A-Rod and Clemens, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will likely make him wait at least a year to atone for his sins. He took the Yankees Second Base job in 2005 and ran with it. In his nine seasons with the Yankees, he bat .309 with 204 home runs, 2,470, and was credited with an assist on the final play of the Yankees 2009 World Series title.

Class of 2033 Giancarlo Stanton: Giancarlo Stanton has already been in the league nine years and has nine more left on his contract. If he plays out his contract at the pace of his first nine years and then retires, he’ll retire with 610 Home Runs, making him a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Other Potential Veterans Committee Candidates:

Tommy John

Gary Sheffield

Kenny Lofton

Joe Girardi (As a Manager)

The Modern Era Baseball Committee and Today’s Game Committee are two veteran’s committees that take turns voting players who are no longer eligible to be voted on by writer’s into the Hall of Fame. Tommy John pitched seven and a half of his 26 years with the Yankees, finished 12 wins shy of the magic 300. The Modern Era Baseball Committee, which votes on John and Graig Nettles has a sizable backlog. Cardinals Catcher, Ted Simmons, will likely get in next time they vote, but Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, and many others are also waiting their turns. The Today’s Game Committee, featuring Kenny Lofton, who play more year for the Yankees in 2004 has an even bigger back log. Once Bonds gets in, case will be made for guys like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, who have already fallen off the ballot because of steroid use. Gary Sheffield, who played for the Yankees from 2004-2006, will be in that group. There are also candidates like Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, and Jeff Kent, who are unlikely to get 75 percent of the vote in their years left on the ballot, who also deserve to get in. Then once Managers like, Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon turn 70 and get on the ballot, there will be even more clutter.

Active Players who haven’t played long enough to judge yet

Aaron Judge

Gary Sanchez

Luis Severino

Aroldis Chapman

Gleyber Torres

Miguel Andujar

Future Yankee Trade and Free Agents Target Who Could Make the Hall of Fame

Bryce Harper

Manny Machado