Dan’s Dugout: Jeter Won’t Be Unanimous Pick

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Neither Mariano Rivera nor Derek Jeter will win unanimous election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
On the surface, both retired Yankees have perfect resumes.
Rivera, the soft-spoken former closer from Panama, and Jeter, the Derek Jeter spent 20 years with the Yankees.Photo: Latino Sports
only man to play 20 years in pinstripes, both spent their entire careers with the Yankees.
Chipper Jones, a sure-fire first ballot selection who becomes eligible before them, won’t get 100 per cent of the vote either. Nor will Big Papi, the Boston designated hitter whose name comes up in 2021.
Simply put, many writers don’t want to “waste” a vote on a sure thing when the ballot limits the voter to 10 choices.
Others just won’t vote for anyone up for election the first time around.
And a few just find racial minorities objectionable. Even in this day and age.
Jones, the switch-hitting third baseman, can count Cooperstown on Chipper Jones is a lock for 2018 election.Photo: Bill Menzel
his travel agenda next summer. But he has less chance of a unanimous vote than Hank Aaron, another former Braves slugger, who was left off nine ballots.
Rivera, who saved more games than any closer in baseball history without ever raising the eyebrow of controversy, will be the main man in 2019.
Then there’s Jeter, whose No. 2 was the last single digit retired by the club. Ironically, his name will don a gallery plaque in 2020, a year divisible by the number of years he wore pinstripes.
But unanimous? No way.
Ken Griffey, Jr. and Tom Seaver came close but neither commanded all possible votes.
Rivera, one of the most religious men to excel in the big leagues, never had an issue with anyone. Soft-spoken, polite, and articulate even though English was his second language, he will walk into the Hall with a huge vote total. But it won’t be a total of all the first-place votes.
Nor will Jeter, a player who did everything well but not well enough to earn a Most Valuable Player award. Not for the regular season anyway. Derek Jeter waves to fans on Derek Jeter Night in the Bronx.Credit: Daniel Budasoff
As former manager Joe Torre said, Jeter wasn’t the best at anything but he did everything just well enough to beat you.
Few fans remember that he once made 56 errors in a minor-league season.
But all remember how well he hit in the clutch, even becoming the first man to hit a home run in November – after the 9/11 attacks forced the postseason to be delayed a week.
In 2000, Jeter was MVP of both the All-Star Game and the World Series. But that won’t be enough to make him unanimous.
If Joe DiMaggio had to wait five years just to get his foot in the door, Jeter can rest secure in the knowledge that he’ll walk into the Hall on his first try. At least he won’t have to worry about the vote of the electoral college.
Elsewhere in baseball:
Colorado’s Antonio Snzatela shares the National League leads in wins with Cy Young contender Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers . . .
With ace closer Zach Britton sidelined until July, the Baltimore bullpen blew four straight games . . .
Yankees rookie Aaron Judge is in the Top 10 in all three Triple Crown Aaron Judge is a rookie rage so far.Credit: Daniel Budasoff/
categories . . .
Washington teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper are staging a nifty early-season race for the NL batting crown . . .
Even on a team with Josh Donaldson and Juan Batista, Kevin Pillar is the only member of the Blue Jays with 2017 MVP credentials . . .
Miami’s inability to win at home explains its cellar standing in the National League East . . .
Trace the fall of the World Champion Cubs to the demise of star pitcher Jake Arrieta . . .
On the other hand, the acquisition of southpaw strikeout ace Chris Sale is keeping the Red Sox afloat . . .
Detroit is thrilled with the return of J.D. Martinez . . .
Mets reliever Hansel Robles has pitched more like Gretel lately . . .
Milwaukee’s power this season is surprising, especially with Ryan Braun on the DL . . .
Derek Jeter Night at Yankee Stadium was a disaster for No. 1 pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who was booed off the mound in the second inning after the Houston Astros battered him for eight runs . . .
The Astros have the AL’s best record because they have a great record on the road . . .
Psst, pass it on: unsung Seattle infielder Jean Segura is the leading hitter in the American League.