Former Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana will likely fall off the Hall of Fame ballot after only one year of eligibility.
Just a couple weeks ago, Minnesota native Jack Morris finally was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Veteran’s Committee. Now the focus has been turned to one of the best pitchers in Minnesota Twins history in Johan Santana and his Hall of Fame credentials.
It is hard to figure out who truly belongs in a Hall of Fame or not. The metrics we used to measure players by in the past are seemingly consistently changing so what might have been the watermark years ago might now be vastly different. Sometimes that happens to help a player in the long run, just ask Morris.
The voters so far have not been too kind to Santana. Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame vote tracker paints a bleak picture for the ace pitcher. As of Tuesday night, 37.5% of the votes were known to the public and Santana had only registered three votes which results in only appearing on 1.9% of ballots.
Personally, I don’t know if Santana is a Hall of Famer. I think there’s a case to be had for him. Santana was the best pitcher in baseball for a stretch and definitely was in the upper echelon of starting pitchers for a good seven year or so period. Two Cy Young Awards do not lie in telling the story of Santana’s dominance.
Santana made four All-Star teams, won the pitching Triple Crown, won the ERA title three times and won a Gold Glove. Even with Santana pitching in Minnesota for a majority of his career, it is amazing how quietly dominant he was, it feels like we Minnesotans didn’t totally appreciate it at the time. Maybe that is what is holding up Santana’s day in the sun.
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Again, there’s an argument to be had on both sides of the argument of Santana belonging in Cooperstown or not, but there should be no doubt that Santana should not fall off the ballot after only one year of eligibility.
Santana is, in fact, in danger of falling off the ballot. According to the tracker, Santana needs 19 more votes to clinch at least appearing on 5% of the ballots which will keep him on for another year. Hopefully he meets that mark because Santana deserves, at the very least, more debate and discussion on how truly great his career was.
If the Hall of Fame is supposed to have the best players in it, it is hard to find a better pitcher for his era. Don’t let this discussion die, voters.
Some good news is that it looks like former Twins designated hitter Jim Thome is well on his way to becoming a first ballot Hall of Famer.