The time has come for new candidates to have their chance at baseball immortality in Cooperstown, NY.
Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay are the headline players for the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, just announced on Monday. But there's plenty of talent further down the ballot, too.
The 2019 Hall of Fame ballot is out. https://t.co/cTGJM3xWfc— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 19, 2018
It can absolutely be said that both of these players should be elected on the first-ballot. Rivera is considered the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history. He pitched his whole career in the Bronx from 1995-2013 and ended his tenure as baseball's all-time leader in saves with 652.
And that doesn't even begin to cover Rivera's impact; the most important postseason pitcher of a generation helped lead a dynasty to glory by being nails in October.
More people have walked on the moon than men who have scored against Mariano Rivera in the postseason.— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) November 6, 2018
Halladay, who tragically died in a plane crash last November, is considered one of the most dominant starting pitchers of his era. He pitched from 1998-2013 and pitched a perfect game with the Phillies on May 29, 2010. Halladay also pitched a no-hitter that same year in the postseason.
Other noteworthy players making their Hall of Fame ballot debut include former Yankee and Astros starting pitcher Andy Pettitte, who is considered one of the best postseason starters of all-time.
First baseman Todd Helton is also making his ballot debut, as the career Colorado Rockie finished his playing days with a lifetime .316 average.
Infielders Michael Young and Miguel Tejada also have their first chance at getting elected to Cooperstown this year. Young finished his career with a .300 average, while Tejada was the 2002 AL MVP. Both of them deserve their due, though they won't be elected to baseball's shrine.
To be elected to the Hall of Fame, a player must be voted on at least 75 percent of baseball writer's ballots. This could be a challenge, with such a crowded ballot this offseason.
One or more of you will not vote for Mariano Rivera. You will be wrong.— Rich Harfst (@raharfst) November 19, 2018
I can't wait to see which writers don't vote for Rivera or Halladay just because they are on their first ballot. Rolling my eyes already.