Derek Jeter is definitely getting elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, probably on the first ballot, but he’s not getting 100% of the vote.
Wade Boggs said the captain of the New York Yankees may be the only player ever to get into the Hall with a 100% of the vote. Now I’m the biggest Derek Jeter fan, but I don’t think there is any chance he gets every single vote from the baseball writers.
No baseball player in history has ever gone into the Hall of Fame as a unanimous pick. Tom Seaver has come the closest to a unanimous selection to Cooperstown, garnering 98.84% of the vote in 1992, followed closely by Nolan Ryan with 98.79% in 1999. None of the legendary men to ever play baseball has gotten every single vote. Not even Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb.
There are numerous reasons for that. Seaver, for example, was reportedly omitted on three of five ballots because writers were protesting the decision to make Pete Rose ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration. Several other players have been hurt by the belief of certain writers that no player should ever go into the Hall as a unanimous selection. Writers sometimes have a nasty habit of ignoring the rules and inserting arbitrary rules of their own, as two writers did in refusing to include Hideki Matsui on their Rookie of the Year ballots in 2003 because of his age and long experience playing in Japan. I wish these writers would immediately lose their voting privileges.
Jeter will have to deal with these types of inherent biases, but he will also have to contend with his own detractors, those observers who believe Jeter is overrated because he has played in New York for the Yankees. If anything, he deserves credit for never succumbing to the glare and temptations of the New York spotlight and for his postseason prowess.
No question Jeter’s resume has proven he is worthy of Hall inclusion, with his 3,000 hits this summer cinching what most baseball observers already believed was a lock. So Jeter will get in, probably with a very high percentage of the vote in his first year. But he won’t get every vote, no matter how much he deserves them.