Legendary third baseman leads MLB Hall of Fame class of 2024

Legendary 3B leads 2024 MLB Hall of Fame classRedditThe 2024 class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame was revealed on Tuesday. Manager Jim Leyland will be joined by Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, and Todd Helton at the induction ceremony this summer in Cooperstown, New York.

Beltre and Mauer are both first-ballot Hall of Famers, making 2024 the first year since 2019 with multiple players getting into Cooperstown on their first try.  

Meanwhile, Helton has been on the ballot since 2019 and has steadily increased his favor with the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters before finally surpassing the 75 percent threshold needed for enshrinement on Tuesday.

Leyland was announced as a member of the 2024 class last month after getting voted in by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. 

Both Mauer and Hilton are rarities in the modern MLB having played for one team their entire careers, while Beltre spent at least five years with three different clubs over his 21-year career. 

Naturally, there will be just as much conversation about who didn’t get in this year as who did. 

Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez both fell well short of the needed votes once again, while notable players like Jose Bautista, Bartolo Colon and Adrian Gonzalez all saw their Hall of Fame hopes end after just a year of eligibility by getting less than five percent of votes according to The Sporting News.

Rodriguez and Ramirez are two holdovers from the peak steroid-era in MLB. 

Their associations with cheating continue to tarnish their respective cases in the eyes of BBWAA voters, and likely will until the pair run out of eligibility. Linked to the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens (none of whom reached the minimum threshold for induction during their windows of eligibility), the two are likely to miss out as well. 

Carlos Beltran faces his own mountain to climb thanks to his role in the infamous Houston Astros sign-dealing scandal that led to him losing his job as Mets manager before a single game at the helm. 

There are some who feel that regardless of cheating or not, the Hall of Fame is a place to tell the story of baseball and not including these influential players within the elite circle of Cooperstown is wrong. There are others who feel that the Hall is sacred ground and shouldn’t be tarnished by those who may not have played the game “the right way.”

With humans rather than computers deciding who is worthy of the immortalization that comes with induction in to the Hall of Fame, the decision to include players will always come down to more than just performance on the field. 

For a game defined by human error, that’s the way it should be.