MLB Hall of Fame elects 3 new players, Blue Jays legend falls off ballot

Aug 11, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Former Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Bautista talks with the
Aug 11, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Former Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Bautista talks with the / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best parts of the MLB offseason is when the Hall of Fame announces who, if anyone, will be joining the elusive club in Cooperstown.

On Tuesday evening, a total of three players had their names added to the promised land: Joe Mauer, the longtime catcher of the Twins; Todd Helton, the greatest hitter in Rockies history; and Adrian Beltre, a Rangers legend.

Multiple ex-Blue Jays fell well short of election. Players must appear on 75 percent of BBWAA writers' ballots in order to be elected. While Beltre earned 95 percent, Helton earned just under 80 percent and Mauer 76.

Omar Vizquel (17.7 percent) and Mark Buehrle (8.3 percent) came nowhere close to being elected, but neither fell below the 5 percent threshold that would see them removed from future ballots.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Jose Reyes, who failed to earn a single vote, and Jose Bautista, who earned a total of six votes but failed to hit 5 percent. The long-time face of the Blue Jays' franchise is not going to be appear on future ballots and is no longer eligible for the MLB Hall of Fame.

By now, everyone knows Bautista and the mark he left on the city of Toronto. After bouncing around from team to team early on in his career, he joined the Jays in 2008 via a minor trade with the Pirates. 2008 and 2009 saw Bautista perform "just okay", but not anywhere close to what he'd become in the following years.

From 2010 to 2013, there were no hitters in the game more productive than Bautista and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. In just the 2010 and 2011 seasons alone, "Joey Bats" hit more home runs than anyone in the game (124) and had the highest walk percentage as well. He quickly became one of the most fearsome sluggers in the game seemingly overnight.

So the legend of Bautista was born, and he remained an offensive juggernaut for the Blue Jays through 2017, where he underperformed and ended his legendary tenure in Toronto on a bit of a weak note. However, he made sure to cement himself into Blue Jays record books and is the proud owner of one of the more dramatic home runs in franchise history.

Despite the fact that he didn't hit like himself to end his tenure on the Jays, Bautista will forever be a legend around these parts. There's little to no doubt that most, if not all, of the voters who gave him a vote this year were nostalgic Blue Jays fans, but there's nothing wrong with that. His overall numbers may not have sniffed that of Beltre's, Mauer's or Helton's, but he will at least have the distinction of being a part of the Blue Jays Level of Excellence.

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