Adrian Beltre set for historic run to Hall of Fame
Adrian Beltre set to become fifth Dominican in Cooperstown
Cooperstown, N.Y., and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, can start planning for a raucous party. Adrian Beltre seems more than a lock to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.
Beltre is on the verge of history for his country and perhaps even for the Texas Rangers organization. Judging by early vote tracking, the third baseman from Santo Domingo will cruise into Cooperstown as the fifth Dominican to earn a place among the immortals at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Beltre is tracking so well with the early ballots that have been revealed publicly, he may sprint into Cooperstown with more support than any Dominican legend ever.
Joe Mauer, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner are also tracking above the necessary 75 percent. Mauer, Helton and Wagner must wait to see how much their support holds, though. Percentages usually drop when the private ballots are tabulated.
Beltre doesn’t need to worry, though. Heck, the former Rangers, Dodgers and Mariners star may garner more support than Nolan Ryan and perhaps even Ken Griffey Jr. received from veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Fourth Dominican elected in nine years
Considering he has been named to 99 percent of the first 203 ballots tracked by Ryan Thibodaux, Beltre seems like a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’ll join Martinez and Ortiz as the third first-ballot Hall of Famer from the Dominican.
After Marichal was inducted in 1983, it took 32 years before Martinez became the second Dominican to join the immortals in Cooperstown. Guerrero followed three years later in his second year on the ballot. Ortiz was elected in his first year on the ballot in 2022.
Now, it’s Beltre’s turn. Although Martinez and Ortiz were more popular and more accomplished in terms of championships, Beltre will likely easily surpass the support those two legends received.
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There’s a different vibe when a native of the Dominican Republic is inducted into the Hall of Fame. The beautiful village in upstate New York might still be recovering from the party David Ortiz held in July 2018 to celebrate his induction.
Martinez received 91.1 percent in 2015, easily surpassing the 75 percent needed for election. The 2015 class included fellow first-ballot Hall of Famers Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio, who got in on his third year on the ballot.
Guerrero cruised into the Hall in 2018 with 92.9 percent, but that was his second year on the ballot. Ortiz was named on 77.9 percent of the ballots in 2022. Marichal got into the Hall of his third year on the ballot in 1983 with 83.7 percent.
Ryan, Griffey territory
At his current pace, Adrian Beltre will garner the second greatest BBWAA support by a Latino in a Hall of Fame election. He’d be behind only Panamanian closer Mariano Rivera, the only player to be elected by the BBWAA unanimously.
Until Rivera was elected in 2020, Griffey had the record for the most support in a BBWAA Hall of Fame election. Griffey was on 99.32 percent in 2016. He was on all but three of the 440 ballots cast by the BBWAA that year.
Three years later, Derek Jeter set a new record with 99.75 percent. Jeter received a vote on all but one of the 397 ballots in that election. Tom Seaver (98.84 in 1992), Ryan (98.79 in 1999), Cal Ripken (98.53 in 2007), Ty Cobb (98.23 in 1936), George Brett (98.19 in 1999), Hank Aaron (97.83 in 1982) and Tony Gwynn (97.60 in 2007) round out the top 10 highest voting percentage.
Only 35 of the Hall of Famers received 90 percent in an election. Adrian Beltre will surely be the 36th.
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