With less than two weeks left before the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame class is revealed, it looks like Central Oregon star Jacoby Ellsbury won’t make it into Cooperstown in his first appearance on the ballot. And this may also be the last time he’s up for election.
A player’s name must be checked off on 75% of the ballots by members of the Baseball Writers Association before this year’s class is announced on Jan. 24. But in order to remain on the ballot in future years, a player must be voted on by at least 5% of the writers.
Ryan Thibodeaux is a noted tracker of BBWA Hall of Fame ballots. He has an online tracker that fans can follow.
With nearly 38% of known ballots returned so far, Thibodeaux says Ellsbury has not been checked off on any of them. That means he’s already been eliminated from consideration in 2023.
Thibodeaux says Ellsbury needs to be on at least 20 ballots in order to stay above that 5% threshold. If he doesn’t get that, he won’t be considered for the Hall again.
Ellsbury and his family lived on the Warm Springs Reservation before moving to Madras, where he lettered in multiple sports in high school. He won All-American honors at Oregon State and was drafted in the first round in 2005 by the Red Sox.
Ellsbury played 11 seasons with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. He finished with a career .284 batting average with 1,376 hits, 104 home runs, 241 doubles, 47 triples, 512 RBIs and 343 stolen bases. He led the league in stolen bases three times in his career.
Central Oregon Daily’s Steele Haugen talked to Ellsbury’s old coaches, teammates, and friends last April.
As of Wednesday, the only players currently on track to be elected are Todd Helton, in his 5th year on the ballot, and Scott Rolen, making his 6th appearance.
Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones and Gary Sheffield are below the 75% threshold as of Wednesday, but could still make up ground before the deadline.
Jeff Kent, who is on his 10th and final ballot, is at 50.7% and likely will miss out.
In addition to Ellsbury, Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Jhonny Peralta and Huston Street have not received any votes.
Torii Hunter, on his 3rd ballot, is also in danger of losing future consideration with just 2%.
Writers can select up to ten names on their ballot, but they can pick fewer than that if they choose. There are 23 players on this year’s ballot.