Tuesday night, baseball players become immortal. The 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame Class will be announced at 6 p.m. While fans have created ballot-trackers, one thing is as close to certain as possible: Adrián Beltré, the former third baseman for the Texas Rangers, will be in Cooperstown.
Most experts familiar with the topic believe that Beltré will be a first-ballot pick, joining the 18 other third basemen in New York. From the moment he joined the league, he captivated Texans with his athletic ability and personality.
He was 19 when he first joined the Show in 1998, but he peaked with age, earning the majority of his awards after he turned 30. When his career ended, he totaled 3,166 hits and 477 HR, earning a 93.5 WAR.
He placed second in the 2004 MVP vote for the National League and racked up other accomplishments along the way. He won four Silver Sluggers, five Golden Gloves and made the All-Star team four times.
In 2011, the Rangers squared off against the Cardinals in the World Series, but they lost in a six-game showdown. On Nov. 20, 2018, the team retired No. 29.
However, Beltré might be remembered most for how he treated his teammates. In his retirement press conference, he talked about his friendship with Elvis Andrus, the Rangers shortstop.
“He can be annoying sometimes, like I said before, many times, but he loves the game,” Beltré said. “He knows that I love the game. We’re similar in a lot of stuff, but sometimes he just brings the best out in me.”
While Beltré is likely to join baseball immortality, there are other candidates that still have a chance to join him.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) January 22, 2024
Other Potential Hall of Fame Candidates
Joe Mauer and Todd Helton have the highest chances to join the Rangers’ third baseman, but they both aren’t as guaranteed.
Mauer was a catcher for most of his time in the majors, transitioning to first base in the later years of his career with the Twins. He played in the All-Star game six times, and he won three Golden Gloves and five Silver Sluggers. In 2009, he won the AL MVP. In 2019, Minnesota retired No. 7.
Helton, the first baseman for the Rockies, won three Golden Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, playing in the All-Star game five times.
Billy Wagner and Gary Sheffield are nearing the end of their eligibility for the Hall of Fame. While they could potentially join Beltré, all players need at least 75% of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America votes to get in. It’s unknown if either have enough.
No matter who joins him, Adrián Beltré and the other players who qualify will be inducted July 21 in Cooperstown, New York.
Joe Mauer only struck out one time in high school 🤯
The pitcher who did it showed up at his Twins Hall of Fame induction to deliver the baseballs his kids would use for the ceremonial first pitch. 👏 pic.twitter.com/oavJikVJJt
— MLB (@MLB) January 18, 2024