Baseball Hall of Fame: Who will be the 2024 inductees?
Now that we know the identity of those who will enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2023, it is already time to look at those who will have a first opportunity to be inducted into Cooperstown in 2024.
Here are four former players whose names will be on the ballots for the first time:
The 43-year-old is considered by many to be the best third baseman in major league history. Beltre played 21 seasons, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. Among third base players, only Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews maintained a better WAR, the statistic that measures the number of additional wins a player can bring to his team. Both men are Hall of Famers. Defensively, Beltre is also recognized as one of the greatest in his sport.
The 2009 American League MVP and three Golden Gloves recipient, Mauer is the only catcher in history to win a batting championship on the league. He achieved the feat three times (2006, 2008 and 2009). The American is also one of 12 players playing in his position to hit a minimum of 2,000 hits. Mauer played in the major leagues for 15 years and was always a member of the Minnesota Twins. If selected for Cooperstown in 2024, Mauer will be only the third receiver in history to receive the honor in his first year of eligibility. The other two are Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez.
The second baseman who spent the vast majority of his 16-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies has a better WAR than most athletes who played in the same position as him and are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Utley won the World Series in 2008, was a six-time All-Star selection and has four Silver Sticks in his collection.
Utley's batting stats, however, may prove too weak for eventual consecration. The California native fell short of the symbolic 2,000 hit mark, stopping at 1,885 in 6,857 plate appearances. Only one player, Tony Oliva, has entered the Hall without having hit the ball 2000 times in a safe place since the modern era of Major League Baseball.
It would be very surprising if the gunner who has worn the colors of 23 teams, including the Montreal Expos, reaches Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility, or even one day. Never mind, Colon had a fantastic career between 1997 and 2018.
“Big Sexy” won the Cy-Young trophy in 2005 and was the pitcher with the most wins in the American that season. He was also selected four times for the All-Star Game. In 2016, at age 42, Colon became the oldest player in major league history to hit a home run. He is also the record holder for the most wins (247) by a pitcher born in Latin America.