For a Baseball Hall of Fame class that will forever be remembered for Derek Jeter mysteriously being jobbed by a voter who didn’t classify Jeter as a first ballot HOF’er, some unusual names found their way onto ballots as well.
Jeter was a 5-time World Series champion who finished 6th all-time in hits, and possessed a .310 batting average and .377 on-base percentage for his career. Jeter was joined by former Colorado Rockies superstar Larry Walker, who finished with a .313 career average, won the MVP in 1997, and posted one of the best seasons in baseball history in 1999 when he hit .379 with 37 home runs and 115 RBIs in just 127 games.
Former MVPs, Cy Youngs, and phenoms the likes of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, and Curt Schilling were the most notable exceptions who didn’t qualify for the 75% voting requirements, but there were plenty of anonymous names as well who shockingly were mentioned in the same breath as some of the most gifted players in baseball history.
Paul Konerko, Jason Giambi, Alfonso Soriano, and Cliff Lee were the most prominent names who failed to be named on at least 5% of ballots, and thus dropped from future ballots, but the voters digged even deeper than that.
Anonymous journeymen J.J. Putz, Brad Penny, Raul Ibanez, Adam Dunn, and Eric Chavez astoundingly received votes as well.
Putz was a 12-year closer who appeared in just one postseason for his career and finished 57th all-time in saves.
Penny finished with a 4.29 ERA for his career, and allowed more hits (2,030) than innings pitched (1,925) during his in 14 seasons on 6 teams.
Ibanez made just one All-Star team, hit .272 for his career, and posted only two seasons (2006, 2009) with over 30 home runs.
Dunn finished with 462 home runs, but hit only .237 for his career, and led the league in strikeouts four times.
Chavez, probably the most talented of the bunch, won six consecutive Gold Gloves at third base from 2001-2006 as a member of the ‘Moneyball’ Oakland A’s, but he didn’t make one All-Star team during his career, and finished with only 1,477 hits and a .268 batting average.