Given his greatness and popularity, it seemed possible, if not likely, Jeter would become the second unanimous Hall of Famer. Instead, he appeared on 396 of 397 submitted ballots, falling one vote short of unanimous induction. Here are the highest voting percentages in history:
How did Jeter handle the news that he was one vote short of joining Rivera, his longtime teammate, as a unanimous Hall of Famer? He wasn’t upset, I can tell you that much. Jeter was appreciative of the voters who did vote for him this year.
- Mariano Rivera (2019): 100.0 percent
- Derek Jeter (2020): 99.75 percent
- Ken Griffey Jr. (2016): 99.32 percent
- Tom Seaver (1992): 98.84 percent
- Nolan Ryan (1999): 98.79 percent
“Everyone told me it was a foregone conclusion. I didn’t buy it. It was not a relaxing day. There was a lot of anxiety,” Jeter said after the announcement. “I could care less,” Jeter said. “I look at all the votes that I got and it takes a lot of votes to get elected to the Hall of Fame. Trying to get that many people to agree to something is hard to do. That’s not something that’s on my mind.”
The identity of the voter who left Jeter off their ballot is unknown and it will remain unknown unless that person reveals their ballot publicly. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. You’re either a Hall of Famer or you’re not, no matter the voting percentage. Jeter is now a Hall of Famer just like Walker is a Hall of Famer, and Cooperstown is where he belongs.
As expected, longtime Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was announced as baseball’s newest Hall of Famer on Tuesday night. Jeter and Larry Walker were voted into Cooperstown by the Baseball Writers Association of America.