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VEB Community selects Beltran, Beltre to Hall of Fame

Only one guy from the real life ballot was actually selected to be a Hall of Famer.

MLB: World Series-Boston Red Sox at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, I didn’t do a ballot, because I did not like the prospect of VEB not voting anybody into the Hall. I was in fact pretty sure VEB wouldn’t vote anybody into the Hall. No players who were going to be on the 2023 ballot had received even 50% of the vote and there was really only one realistic player VEB may have voted in. I assumed VEB wouldn’t.

Well, we’ll never know, but with another year of distance, VEB considers Carlos Beltran a Hall of Famer, with 77.6% of the vote. Based on a reluctance to elect steroid users, I thought there was a strong possibility at least 25% of people would hold sign stealing against Beltran. And some people clearly did, so I was not completely wrong. Beltran is a clear Hall of Famer by the numbers, so anything below 100% is mostly due to reasons other than his performance.

A player with no baggage and a near perfect resume was Adrian Beltre, elected with 88.8% of the vote. Unless you’re one of those weirdos who holds it against Beltre that he was anti-other people rubbing your head, Beltre is pretty much a longevity case with a surprisingly good peak.

Beltre was the only player chosen in real life by the writers who VEB readers also thought was a Hall of Famer. Which is not a surprise if you’ve been following. Joe Mauer was very close, with 72% of the vote. Mauer is, depending on your POV, probably more of a boderline case than how the writers ultimately voted, and the readers of this blog tend to have a higher bar to clear, rightly or wrongly (unless they are a Cardinal).

I’m not saying Mauer isn’t a Hall of Famer. I would vote for him. But the voting has been pretty clear that the borderline cases simply aren’t getting in. That said, he could get a few extra votes next time now that he’s thought of as a Hall of Famer. Todd Helton was not as close, with 62.6% of the vote. Where I can envision Mauer getting selected by this group, I don’t see Helton doing it honestly.

VEB are still not fans of David Ortiz, who got less than 50% of the vote. And they aren’t really fans of Billy Wagner being a Hall of Famer either, with just 47.7% of the vote. A large percentage of the voters just don’t vote in relievers. The only other player with greater than 50% of the vote was Andruw Jones, who still didn’t come particularly close with 62.6%.

I’m not real sure who the 8% of you are who thought Bartolo Colon was a Hall of Famer, but - and I’m not arguing for him to be in the Hall of Fame - I think it’s preposterous he got more votes than David Wright, who falls off the ballot with 4.7%. Also falling just short of clearing the 5% hurdle was K-Rod, or Francisco Rodriguez. No surprise there.

There were a few players who received zero votes, and they had great careers, and I’m sorry to them and their families - who don’t read this blog - for getting no love from random people on the internet. But Matt Cain, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jhonny Peralta, and James Shield all received zero votes. Not even former Cardinal Jahonny Peralta could muster a vote.

Not doing a whole lot better, but at least getting votes were Jose Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, John Lackey, Victor Martinez, Jose Reyes, Jered Weaver and Jayson Werth. They are all getting knocked off the ballot.

Looks like I lied. Chase Utley just snuck past the 50% hurdle. He had 50.5% of the vote. Also in that 50% range (but below) was steroid tainted Alex Rodriguez. His contemporary who also got caught post-enforcement, Manny Ramirez, received just 32% of the vote. Unlike the 90s guys, they actually knew the consequences and did it anyway. Lastly, Gary Sheffield didn’t quite crack 50% of votes.

We’re running out of players at this point, so to hit on one more off-the-field problems’ player, Curt Schilling, barely got over a third of votes. He asked the writers to not vote him in, you guys are just fulfilling his wish. A player who I’ve never heard any controversy about was Bobby Abreu, who sadly did not get any apparent benefit from that, with 28% of the vote.

Lastly, two former Cardinals, one for much longer than the other. VEB likes them some Lance Berkman, who got 31.8% of the vote. Matt Holliday probably got 23% largely on the backs of people liking Matt Holliday, in fact a part of me is surprised it’s not higher than that. But of course, he doesn’t have the strongest case.

So Carlos Beltran and Adrian Beltre. That leaves the classes at:

2019 Class: Roy Halladay, Scott Rolen, Mariano Rivera

2022 Class: Derek Jeter, Larry Walker

2024 Class: Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre

Rolen is, I suppose, technically borderline, but that’s seven no doubt Hall of Famers in my book. As I said, the borderline guys just aren’t cutting it. Which I mean that just means VEB is a small Hall group, a perfectly defensible position.

On Monday, I’ll pick back up the prospect list, which will probably continue for a few weeks before I stray to a different topic.