Baseball Hall of Fame: First-ballot starting pitchers are becoming a rarity; who will be the next one?

The 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame election has actually reoccured. David Ortiz is headed to Cooperstown, once again there were no beginning pitchers chosen on the very first tally. Not that there need to have been, however it’s been quite prevalent for a while to not see any. 

Back in 1999, Nolan Ryan entered the Hall of Fame in his very first time on the tally, making 98.8 percent of the vote. We would not see another first-ballot Hall of Fame beginning pitcher up until 2014. In that cycle, both Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine made it with ease. Next time around, 3 more first-ballot Hall of Fame beginning pitchers were included Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz. In 2019, Roy Halladay would sign up with the fray. 

Still, it’s quite fascinating, no? Aside from a two-year deluge of 5 conscripts, the only first-ballot Hall of Fame beginning pitcher from 2000-22 has actually been Halladay. In all, there have actually been simply 6 first-ballot Hall of Fame beginners inducted because the turn of the millennium and they were all bunched together. 

This isn’t to state it’s anything more than a coincidence. Coincidences are bound to occur with Hall of Famers, though I’ll never ever comprehend why it took Mike Mussina 6 times to get in or why Curt Schilling wasn’t currently in prior to he began hurting his possibilities with public remarks. It’s all next to the point here. 

No, our point in today’s workout while attempting to keep our mind off the owner-imposed lockout is to look ahead towards the future first-ballot Hall of Fame beginning pitchers. Or rather, who will be the next one? 


The finest beginning pitchers contributed to the tally are John Lackey, Jered Weaver and Matt Cain. Next. 


Bartolo Colon, James Shields and after that down to Yovani Gallardo? Nope. Next. 


Now we’re talking. CC Sabathia begins the tally for the very first time. Felix Hernandez, too, however if he ultimately makes it in, it’ll likely take years of encouraging a great part of the ballot body. No, we’ll concentrate on CC. 

I do believe he’ll be a Hall of Famer sooner or later. I’m a bit suspicious it takes place in his very first go-round, however, offered what I pointed out above about Mussina. In a comparable variety of innings, Mussina was much better at run avoidance and keeping opposing players off base. He won 270 video games compared to CC’s 251. Mussina rates out far better in JAWS and WAR (82.8 to 62 in WAR, for instance).

Of course, Sabathia has more than 3,000 strikeouts while Mussina fell less than 200 brief. Sabathia has a World Series ring and a Cy Young and those both avoided Mussina, albeit with very close misses out on. 

We have a progressing ballot body that for many years will continue to alter more “new school.” Then once again, that may really harm Sabathia due to the JAWS and WAR figures. 

I’m going to think Sabathia misses out on the 2025 Hall of Fame class. 


Cole Hamels is the very best bet. Even if you wish to discuss him here, and I’m not averse, I simply can’t see it occurring in his very first shot. 


Jon Lester has actually revealed his retirement after pitching in 2021, so he’s our finest understood name here. I’ll echo what I stated on Hamels. It will not occur right now. 

Still active

That moves us into active gamers prior to we can discover the next first-ballot Hall of Fame beginning pitcher. 

There are 3 active pitchers who might retire today and head to the Cooperstown in their very first shot without much of us offering it a reservation: Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. I’m uncertain there’s a single, severe argument versus any of the 3. It’s simply a matter of when they are enacted on their very first shot. 

Kershaw is just 33, however he’s a totally free representative and has actually had back, elbow and shoulder injuries that are an issue moving on. It’s absolutely nothing that will impact his Hall of Fame status, I’m just stating he may be retiring earlier than numerous would have anticipated back in his prime. Let’s offer him 3 more years. That puts him on the 2030 tally. 

Scherzer is 37 years of ages with a lots of mileage on his ideal arm, however he’s signed through 2023 with a gamer choice for 2024 worth over $43 million. He’ll pitch through that season and after that we’ll state he’s done. Again, that would get him on the 2030 tally. 

Verlander turns 39 next month and is coming off Tommy John surgical treatment. He has a two-year handle the Astros and he’ll end up that. I would not be amazed if he has another year in the tank after that, too, however it’s possible I’m getting captured up in the concept of Kershaw, Scherzer and Verlander entering through the exact same tally. 

Will somebody beat them there? 

I believe Zack Greinke takes a crack at. He’s won a Cy Young and 2 age titles. The 6-time All-Star has six Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers and has actually long been such a fantastic well-rounded gamer. He’s over 3,000 innings and 2,800 strikeouts. And you understand how I pointed out the progressing ballot body? Greinke is 27th in beginning pitcher JAWS (Verlander is 25th, Kershaw 26th, Scherzer 30th, Sabathia 55th, Hamels 69th). He’s ahead of Nolan Ryan, Roy Halladay, Carl Hubbell, John Smoltz, Jim Palmer, Don Drysdale and Juan Marichal, to name a few. As the ballot body continues to move more towards the sophisticated metrics, Greinke’s case just gets more powerful. 

Keep in mind that this does not imply I believe there are no other active pitchers will be first-ballot Hall of Famers. We’re simply looking for the next one and I can’t see anybody beating all 4 of these people to the punch. 

The choice

I’ll state Greinke is the next first-ballot Hall of Fame beginning pitcher. We’ll choose 2029, implying it would be the very first time because 2018 and simply the seventh time because 1999. Of course, it’s totally possible then Kershaw, Scherzer and Verlander rapidly follow, so we’d have another clump of them not unlike 2014-15. Pretty amusing how that works, huh? 

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