Carlos Beltran among 14 first-timers on HOF ballot

Carlos Beltran, a former American League rookie of the year and a World Series champion with the Houston Astros, is among 14 players appearing on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The Hall of Fame is mailing ballots to about 400 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America this week, and it announced the 28 names — including 14 holdovers — on that ballot on Monday.

The first-time eligibles for the 2023 Hall of Fame class are pitchers R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, John Lackey, Francisco Rodriguez, Jered Weaver, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain; infielders J.J. Hardy and Jhonny Peralta; outfielders Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier and Jayson Werth; and catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli.

Last year, David Ortiz was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame. Candidates whose names appear on at least 75 percent of the 2023 ballots cast by the voting BBWAA members will be enshrined in Cooperstown, N.Y., in July.

Players’ names remain on the ballot for up to 10 years as long as they receive at least 5 percent of the vote each year.

That eliminates three controversial players from contention on the traditional ballot this year. In their final year of eligibility last year, outfielder Barry Bonds (66.0 percent) and pitchers Roger Clemens (65.2) and Curt Schilling (58.6) failed to reach the 75 percent threshold. The Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee will consider their candidacy next month.

Reaching the 10-year mark this year is infielder Jeff Kent, who received 32.7 percent of the vote in 2022. An infielder, Kent hit 377 home runs for six teams over 17 seasons.

Other holdovers from the 2022 voting are pitchers Mark Buehrle, Billy Wagner and Andy Pettitte; infielders Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, Jimmy Rollins, Alex Rodriguez and Omar Vizquel; and outfielders Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield.

The only players receiving more than 50 percent of the votes last year were Rolen (63.2), Helton (52.0) and Wagner (51.0).

Bonds, Clemens and Rodriguez have failed to gain entry into the Hall of Fame as voters have declined to choose them because of their ties to baseball’s steroid era. While Beltran arguably has the best resume among the newcomers, voters may decide against him because of his ties to the cheating scandal surrounding the 2017 Astros.

An investigative report into the Astros’ conduct pointed to Beltran for his involvement and days later, the newly hired New York Mets manager was fired without ever managing a game.

In 20 major league seasons, Beltran hit 565 doubles, swatted 435 home runs and drove in 1,587 runs with seven teams. He won three Gold Gloves and made nine All-Star teams.

Results of the voting will be announced Jan. 24.

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