It’s a whodunnit for baseball fans except the mystery may never be solved.
Derek Jeter, the Yankees star, was voted into the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame last month. But a lone, anonymous dissenter voted to keep him out, robbing Jeter of becoming the second unanimous selection of all time.
We may never know who voted “no” — the guaranteed backlash is enough to keep anyone in hiding. But that hasn’t kept people from trying to discover who that person may be.
There are 397 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BWAA) who are eligible to submit ballots for the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame. They’re mostly journalists, statisticians and baseball writers who cover Major League Baseball for newspapers, magazines and web sites.
The group has released the ballots of the 315 members who chose to allow their votes to become public — it’s their choice — but Jeter was on all of them. He was also on all of the 13 additional public ballots and six anonymous ones uncovered by Ryan Thibodaux, a hobbyist who tracks the Baseball Hall of Fame ballots online.
That means there are 69 voters who could be the culprit.
Considering the criticism the anonymous voter has already received for leaving Jeter off, it’s unlikely that person will step forward to face the public scrutiny sure to come.
Jeter, for his part, says he doesn’t care.
“I focus on the ones who did,” Jeter said of the members who voted in favor. “It takes a lot of people to all agree to get you to this point. So, I’m not thinking about that.”
The 14-time MLB All-Star is one of the greatest shortstops in the sport’s history, and he won five World Series titles with the New York Yankees. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that he would join his former teammate Mariano Rivera to become the second unanimous selection for the sport’s Hall of Fame.
Still, he’s in. Jeter will be joined by right fielder Larry Walker, catcher Ted Simmons and former head of the players’ association, Marvin Miller, when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 26 in Cooperstown, New York.
They’ll be joined by dozens of writers who voted in favor — and one who voted against.