2023 Hall of Fame Election
The results of the 2023 Hall of Fame Election were announced on January 24, 2023. Scott Rolen was the lone player elected, receiving 76.3% of the vote on his sixth try. Before that, the Veterans Committee announced the results of its vote covering the Contemporary Era, in which Fred McGriff was a successful candidate.
Eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America voted on a ballot comprising holdover candidates from the 2022 Hall of Fame Election and players who played their last major league game in 2017. The ballot was revealed on November 21st and contained 29 names, including 14 candidates eligible for the first time. Some of the controversial candidates from recent years - namely Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling -, were dropped after exhausting their ten years of eligibility in the 2022 Hall of Fame Election.
The BBWAA elected only one player, third baseman Scott Rolen, on his sixth try, with 76.3% of the vote, with 75% needed for election. His election was historic, as in his first year of eligibility, in 2018, he received only 10.2% of the vote, but still managed to gain election by the writers. Todd Helton finished second with 72,2%, falling just 11 votes short of election. The top vote-getter among first-year candidates was Carlos Beltran, who received 46.5%, a total which has historically been a good foundation for launching a successful campaign for eventual election. There were 389 ballots cast, with 292 votes needed for election.
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The Veterans Committee examined candidates from the Contemporary Era, covering the period since 1980. The 16 electors forming the committee met at Winter Meetings in San Diego, CA on December 4th to discuss candidates on the ballot and cast their votes. Candidates had to receive 75% of the vote (i.e. 12 votes) to be elected.
The ballot included eight names, including two overwhelmingly qualified names who failed to be elected by the BBWAA because of the association with steroids. The candidates were Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling.
In the voting, one candidate, McGriff, stood head and shoulders above the others as he was selected by all 16 voters, while no other candidate received more than 8 votes (Mattingly). As a result, McGriff was the only candidate elected.
Members of the Committee were former players Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell; executives Arte Moreno, Paul Beeston, Theo Epstein, Ken Williams and Dave St. Peter; and writers and historians Susan Slusser, LaVelle Neal and Steve Hirdt. The sixteenth member was originally scheduled to be former player Chipper Jones, but he had to bow out when he came down with COVID-19 and was replaced by executive Derrick Hall.
Pat Hughes, a long-time broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting and John Lowe, writer for the Detroit Free Press and other papers won the BBWAA Career Excellence Award for excellence in the field of sportswriting. Both winners are to be honored at the induction ceremony for the Class of 2023. Former player Carl Erskine received the "Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award" for his contributions to the game and to society after his retirement, namely his support for the Special Olympics and for the Baseball Assistance Team.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on July 23, 2023 in Cooperstown, NY. Both Fred McGriff and Scott Rolen were present for the occasion and gave the traditional speeches. The day before, the three other laureates had been honored in a separate ceremony, and the induction ceremony was also used to dedicate the USS Cooperstown named in honor of the 70 Hall of Famers who interrupted their playing careers to serve in the United States military.
- David Adler: "What to watch for in 2023 HOF voting", mlb.com, January 27, 2022. 
- Associated Press: "Beltrán, Lackey lead 14 newcomers on Baseball Hall ballot", Yahoo! News, November 21, 2022. 
- Paul Casella: "Upswing in voting a good omen for these 4 Hall hopefuls", mlb.com, January 24, 2023. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "McGriff elected unanimously to Hall on Contemporary Era ballot", mlb.com, December 4, 2022. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "Rolen earns Hall election, capping historic ballot climb", mlb.com, January 24, 2023. 
- Chris Cwik: "Scott Rolen elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, while Alex Rodriguez again falls well short", Yahoo! Sports, January 24, 2023. 
- Steve Gardner (USA Today): "Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens among eight finalists on 'Contemporary Era' Hall of Fame ballot", Yahoo! News, November 7, 2022. 
- Steve Gardner (USA Today): "Fred McGriff gets call to Baseball Hall of Fame through special committee vote", Yahoo! News, December 4, 2022. 
- Thomas Harrigan: "HOF releases 8-player Contemporary Baseball Era ballot", mlb.com, November 7, 2022. 
- Gabe Lacques (USA Today): "After decades of headaches, steroid era is almost over for Baseball Hall of Fame", Yahoo! News, January 25, 2023. 
- Matthew Leach: "Trio of baseball lifers grateful for Cooperstown honors", mlb.com, July 22, 2023. 
- Matthew Leach: "Rolen, McGriff enshrined in Hall of Fame in sun-splashed ceremony", mlb.com, July 23, 2023. 
- Brian Murphy: "1 weird highlight for each new 2023 HOF candidate", mlb.com, January 22, 2023. 
- Brian Murphy: "Everything to know about today's 2023 Hall Induction ceremony", mlb.com, July 23, 2023. 
- Manny Randhawa: "Beltrán, K-Rod make their HOF ballot debuts", mlb.com, November 21, 2022. 
- Manny Randhawa: "2 weeks to announcement, a HOF balloting update", mlb.com, January 8, 2023. 
- Andrew Simon: "Breaking down every first timer on 2023 HOF ballot", mlb.com, November 21, 2022.