Don Mattingly gets second Hall of Fame chance, Keith Hernandez snubbed

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LAS VEGAS — Don Mattingly’s Hall of Fame candidacy never gained much traction the first time around, but the former Yankees first baseman is getting another shot.

On Monday, the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee named Mattingly among eight candidates on the ballot for the 2023 Hall of Fame class. Mattingly joined Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling on the ballot. The results will be announced on Dec. 4 at the winter meetings.

A notable exclusion was Keith Hernandez, who in the past two seasons was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame and had his number 17 retired by the Mets. Hernandez’s 11 Gold Gloves — won in succession — are a record among first basemen.

The eight finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among players whose most significant career impact occurred since 1980. All candidates must not be on baseball’s ineligible list.

Don Mattingly and Keith Hernandez
AP, Robert Sabo

The threshold for enshrinement is 75 percent of the vote cast by the 16-member committee. There is no limit as to how many players each committee member can vote for. The eight candidates all appeared previously on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Hall of Fame ballot, but failed to gain the necessary 75 percent of the vote for induction. Mattingly peaked at 28.2 percent of the vote in his first year on the BBWAA ballot in 2001.

Mattingly’s résumé includes six All-Star selections and nine Gold Gloves. He won the American League’s MVP award in 1985, but lower-back injuries limited his production later in his career. But Mattingly could receive a boost in consideration following Gil Hodges’ enshrinement last summer. Hodges was a star first baseman on the Brooklyn Dodgers’ powerhouse teams of the 1950s.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling all appeared for the final time on the BBWAA ballot last year. Bonds holds baseball’s career home run record (762), but his link to performance-enhancing drugs has kept him from entering Cooperstown. The same is true for Clemens, who won 354 games over his 24-year career. Schilling, whose résumé includes a 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason appearances, peaked at 71.1 percent of the vote on the BBWAA ballot in 2021.

Palmeiro’s link to PEDs crippled his candidacy on the BBWAA ballot after a major league career that included 569 homers.

Murphy won consecutive MVP awards for the Braves in 1982 and ’83, finishing his career with 398 homers. McGriff’s career highlights include 493 homers and six appearances in the top 10 in MVP voting. Belle hit 381 homers over his 12-year career with the Indians, White Sox and Orioles.

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