The National Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome three new members in July. The museum announced Tuesday that third baseman Adrian Beltre, catcher and first baseman Joe Mauer and first baseman Todd Helton have been elected to the Hall of Fame by the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. A total of 385 BBWAA members voted in the Class of 2024 election, meaning players needed at least 289 votes (75%) to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this cycle.
Beltre received 366 votes, earning 95.1% in his first year on the ballot. Helton, in his sixth year, came in second with 307 votes for 79.7%. Mauer, also in his first year, made it in with 293 votes, just four more than the required 289.
Beltre is one of the best third basemen of all time, and in a few months, he'll have the Hall of Fame plaque to prove it. Over his 21-year career, Beltre amassed 3,166 hits and 477 home runs, retiring with a .286/.339/.480 batting line in 2,759 games, more than any other third baseman in history except Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.
Beltre played for four teams but is probably best remembered for the eight years he spent with the Texas Rangers to end his career. (He also played for the Dodgers, Mariners and Red Sox.) Beltre was well-liked by his teammates and beloved by fans wherever he went. The Rangers retired his jersey in 2019, the year after he retired.
After missing election last year by just 11 votes, Helton will be just the second player to don a Colorado Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque when he's inducted in July. Helton spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies, manning first base with defensive ease and hitting unsuspecting baseballs into the stratosphere. He retired with 2,519 hits and 369 home runs — 142 of which were hit outside the hitter's paradise that is Coors Field. He debuted in 1997 and finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1998. He went on to win four Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves and was also named to five All-Star Games.
Mauer is the second first-ballot Hall of Famer elected this cycle. Over a 15-year career with the Minnesota Twins, he amassed 2,123 hits and 55.2 bWAR, retiring with a .306/.388/.439 average. He was an All-Star six times, won five Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves, and was the 2009 American League MVP. He's also the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles. A St. Paul, Minnesota, native, Mauer was chosen by the Twins with the first overall pick in the 2001 draft, and 18 years later, they retired his jersey at Target Field.
Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield narrowly miss election
Wagner was trending in the right direction, with over 78% support on the ballots revealed publicly before the announcement. But his support apparently dropped off on the ballots that weren't shared before the announcement was made. He ended up with 284 votes, just five shy of election. He has one year left on the ballot.
This is a tough one for Sheff. He saw a jump in support this year, his 10th and final year on the ballot, gaining 32 votes over his 2023 total, but the surge wasn't enough to push him over the induction threshold. Sheffield finished with 246 votes, or 63.9%. He will now be removed from the ballot, but considering the strong support he received this year, he could be a shoo-in whenever the veterans committee comes calling.
Eight players eliminated from future ballots
Three players will be inducted in the Class of 2024, but eight players, all in their first year on the ballot, failed to receive the 5% of votes required to make a return appearance on the 2025 ballot and will be eliminated going forward.