Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer voted into Baseball Hall of Fame on first ballot as new class announced


The National Baseball Hall of Fame has three more inductees, two of whom received the nod on their first time on the ballot.

Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer and Todd Helton make up the Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

Beltre got in without a sweat, earning 95.1% of the vote. Players need 75% for enshrinement.

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Adrian Beltre and Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins talks with Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers, Aug. 4, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Beltre is just one of 11 players in the history of baseball to have 3,000 hits and 450 home runs. Out of those 11, only four (Beltre, Willie Mays, Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski) have at least five Gold Glove Awards. He is the only third baseman in the 3,000-400 club, and he has the most hits and RBI (1,707) by a third baseman ever; only Mike Schmidt and Eddie Matthews had more home runs.

Beltre accumulated 3,166 hits and hit 477 home runs in his 21-year career, spending 15 of those seasons with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

He never won an MVP, but he was a finalist twice and finished in the top 10 six times. In his age-37 season, Beltre won a Gold Glove, his fifth and final, while hitting .300 with an .879 OPS.

Adrian Beltre home run

Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers hits a home run to complete the cycle in the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 3, 2015. (Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

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Mauer lived up to his billing as the first overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft. The Minneapolis native was drafted by his hometown Twins and became one of the best players to grace their jersey.

Mauer won three batting titles (the most ever by a catcher; all other catchers have combined for four), an MVP in 2009 and three Gold Gloves in his now-Hall of Fame career. His .388 on-base percentage is the third-highest for a catcher, and he’s one of seven catchers in MLB history to hit over .300 in their careers.

He was a .306 hitter in his career, racking up 2,123 hits, the eighth-most by a backstop. In his 2009 MVP campaign, he hit .365 with a .444 on-base percentage, both single-season records for his position.

Joe Mauer at number retirement

The Minnesota Twins retired Joe Mauer’s number on June 15, 2019, at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

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Helton’s baseball card (or nowadays, Baseball-Reference page) screams Hall of Famer. He hit .316 with a .953 OPS and 2,519 hits.

It should be noted that his numbers were inflated by playing in Colorado, where he spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies, which played a role in him waiting six years to get in the Hall.

But let’s have some fun with numbers.

At home, Helton hit .345 with a 1.048 OPS; on the road, he hit .287 with an .855 OPS. Obviously, those are worse than his Colorado numbers, but they are both higher than the aforementioned and new Hall of Famer Beltre’s career stats.

Late-career injuries put a damper on Helton’s quest for 3,000 hits, but he’s one of 34 players ever with 2,500 hits and 350 home runs – 25 of those players, including Beltre and Helton, are Hall of Famers (this list includes players with PED ties, including Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield, as well as those not yet eligible for the Hall, including Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera).

Todd Helton waves after last game

Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies acknowledges the standing ovation from the fans after he played his last home game at Coors Field on Sept. 25, 2013, in Denver. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Billy Wagner just narrowly missed induction by five votes, but he is trending to make it next year, which will be his final year on the ballot. Despite the second-lowest ERA among relievers with 500-plus innings (behind only Mariano Rivera), the sixth-most saves and the highest K/9 for relievers who threw more than 900 innings, he fell short.

This year’s voting marks the end of Gary Sheffield’s time on the ballot; he was not enshrined in his 10th and final year with 63.9%. Sheffield had 500 home runs and a .292 average with 2,689 hits, but he was long rumored to have taken steroids – he has maintained his innocence. His only hope is through the Veterans Committee.

In his third year on the ballot, A-Rod got 34.8% of the vote, and Ramirez got 32.5% in his eighth year; both are decreases from last year, albeit by decimal points, but it’s not trending in the right direction for the controversial figures to be enshrined.

Billy Wagner pitches

Billy Wagner of the Houston Astros pitches against the San Diego Padres on April 23, 2000, in San Diego. (Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

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The new Hall of Famers will officially be enshrined in Cooperstown in July.

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