Captain's Call: Derek Jeter Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

The 14-time All-Star shortstop hit .310, led New York to five World Series titles and captained the Yankees for his final 11 1/2 seasons

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What to Know

  • Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but was one vote shy of it being unanimous
  • The 14-time All-Star shortstop hit .310, led New York to five World Series titles and captained the Yankees for his final 11 1/2 seasons
  • Also elected was outfielder Larry Walker, who hit 383 career home runs

The Captain has gotten the call to Cooperstown — but it was not unanimous.

Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday.

Tim Mead, President of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, announced the 2020 induction class — a distinguished class of two comprised of Jeter and outfielder Larry Walker.

"I was speechless when I got the call," Jeter said. "Quite frankly, I was pretty nervous, and when I got it I really didn't know what to say."

It was not immediately known which voter didn't choose Jeter, who was listed on all 219 ballots made public before the announcement. The BBWAA will release additional ballots on Feb. 4 of writers who chose a public listing.

"Today, Derek Jeter joins a distinguished list of Yankee greats in taking his rightful place in the Hall of Fame," Mead said, adding that Jeter received 396 out of 397 possible votes, good for 99.7 percent.

The Yankee and 14-time All-Star hit .310 for his career, leading the Bronx Bombers to five World Series titles. After making his debut in 1995, he was named team captain in 2003 and continued playing through 2014.

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Jeter ended his career with 3,465 hits, good for sixth all-time. He also has the sixth-most home runs by a career shortstop (260), eighth-most runs batted in (1,311), and the highest career OPS (.871).

Despite the impressive stat line, Jeter defined himself by moments more than numbers: his unexpected backhand flip from foul territory to throw out Oakland's Jeremy Giambi in the 2001 AL Division Series; his Mr. November home run in the 10th inning that won Game 4 of the 2001 World Series; his face-first leap into the stands after catching a 12th-inning popup by Boston's Trot Nixon in 2004; a home run into the left-field bleachers for his 3,000th hit as part of a career-best 5-for-5 game in 2011; a ninth-inning walkoff single in his final home game in 2014; a single in his last at-bat three days later that lifted his career average to .310.

Drafted sixth overall in 1992 after he was spotted by Yankees scout Dick Grouch as a high school junior a year earlier. He debuted for the Yankees on May 29, 1995, and was installed at shortstop the following spring training by new manager Joe Torre.

Jeter was the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year. He has been CEO of the Miami Marlins the past two seasons.

Rivera and Jeter made up half of the “Core Four” players — along with pitcher Andy Pettitte and catcher Jorge Posada — who were a major part of the Yankees’ run of World Series titles in the late 1990s and 2000s.

The Yankees, who payed the shortstop $266 million over his career, retired No. 2 in Jeter's honor. He was the ninth player elected to the Hall after playing exclusively for the Yankees, joining Lou Gehrig (1939), Bill Dickey (1954), Joe DiMaggio (1955), Earle Combs (1970), Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle (1974), Phil Rizzuto (1994) and Rivera.

"I don't like to jinx anything," Jeter said. "No one assumes they're going to go to the Hall of Fame."

Although some anticipated Jeter's vote into the Hall of Fame would be unanimous -- making him the second player in history after fellow Yankee Mariano Rivera -- that was not the case. The Captain fell short by one vote, although he will go in with the second-highest percentage of votes in history.

Ken Griffey Jr. was three votes short of a perfect election in 2016, breaking the mark of five shy that had been held since 1992 by Tom Seaver.

Also elected was Larry Walker, who hit 383 homers in a career including nearly a decade of home games in the launching pad of Denver's Coors Field. The outfielder appeared on 304 ballots, six more than the 75 percent needed to get into Cooperstown.

Walker was on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time after improving from 34.1% in 2018 to 54.6% last year. Earlier in the day, the former Expo, Rockie and Cardinal tweeted that he thought he was "going to come up a little short today."

Walker hit .313 with .383 homers, 1,311 RBIs and 230 stolen bases for Montreal (1989-94), Colorado (1995-2004) and St. Louis (2004-05), a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner. He led the major leagues in batting average in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

Jeter and Walker will be inducted on July 26 at the Hall in Cooperstown, New York, along with catcher Ted Simmons and former players' association head Marvin Miller, who were voted in last month by the Hall's Modern Era Committee.

Pitcher Curt Schilling was third with 278 votes (70%) in his eighth ballot appearance, an increase from 60.9% but still 20 votes shy. The steroids-tainted pair of Roger Clemens (61%) and Barry Bonds (60.7%) both showed slight increases. Bonds rose from 59.1% last year and Clemens from 59.5%.

Schilling made his eighth appearance on the ballot after going up from 51.2% to 60.9%. He dropped from 52.3% in 2016 to 45% the following year and claimed his support dropped because he publicly supported the election of Donald Trump for president.

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Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both tainted by accusations of steroids use, were also on the ballot for their eighth time. Each received just over one-third of the vote in their first appearances in 2013 and both were at about 59% last year. Bonds was at 72% on this year's vote-tracker and Clemens at 71%.

Bonds, Clemens and other ballot holdovers could benefit next year, when the most prominent players eligible for the first time are Torii Hunter and Mark Buehrle. The 2022 ballot will include David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, who served a season-long suspension in 2014 for violations of the drug program and baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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