The Baseball Hall of Fame finalists are set for 2024.
This year, some of the best big leaguers of the 90s and 2000s are among them. The MLBbro superstars of those eras are well represented. Torii Hunter, Brandon Phillps, Jimmy Rollins, and Gary Sheffield are among the 2024 finalists.
All of these players have had Hall of Fame moments, set franchise records and/or distinguished themselves among the best players in baseball for a decade or more.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins is now on his third HOF ballot. He received 12.9% of the vote in 2023. Rollins played a terrific 16-year career with three organizations and was the 2007 NL MVP. “J-Roll” notched more than 2,000 career hits and 231 home runs.
His combination of speed, power and athleticism was the spark for one of the golden eras in Philadelphia Phillies history. In his prime, Rollins was considered a Top 10 player in the game and is easily one of the most multi-faceted second baseman to ever play the game.
A 30-30 guy, who also did 20-20-20 (homers, doubles and triples). A dynamic base runner and fielder, the 5-foot-8 shortstop won four Gold Gloves and made three All-Star teams with Philly.
The switch-hitting Rollins ranks first in Phillies history in doubles (479), at-bats (8,628) and hits (2,306). He’s also second in stolen bases (453 which is also fourth-most among active players) and total bases (3,655). He’s comfortably in the top 10 of nearly every offensive category in club history and holds the distinction of being one of 19 players in major league history with at least 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs. He also ranks among the all-time greats with 46 career leadoff homers.
For most of Rollins’ career, he would find himself overshadowed by the legendary shortstops of his era such as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, among others.
With Derek Jeter already in the Hall of Fame and A-Rod being persecuted because of his PED affiliations, including a past suspension, Rollins is the next best option when you talk about shortstops with Hall of Fame caliber credentials.
Rollins also played in two World Series and won one in 2008. During his career, he would be most beloved by Philadelphia and become a Phillies legend.
Other finalists for the Hall of Fame are Brandon Phillps and Torii Hunter. These two were also big-time players in their era.
This is Phillips’ first year on the ballot. “Dat Dude” Phillps had a .275 career batting average while playing for 5 organizations. Phillps also gained three All-Star selections with the Cincinnati Reds.
More than his versatility and ability to hit anywhere in the top three spots of the lineup with effectiveness, Phillips played with a swag that embodies the MLBbro.
During Phillips’ career, the second baseman would gain a silver slugger in 2011 and become a 4-time Gold Glove winner. Although he never managed to win a championship, the rest of his stats and accomplishments reflect a great career. There is no doubt that Brandon Phillips is going down as one of the great players in Reds history and an elite MLBbro second baseman.
Torii Hunter had consistency, durability and longevity, while winning nine straight Gold Gloves in centerfield and compiling 353 homers and 2,452 hits over a 19-year MLB career. This is his fourth year on the ballot and he’s once again facing some stiff competition. His 6.9 % of the ballot in 2023 was just enough to surpass the 5% needed to remain on the ballot.
With the 2024 Hall of Fame having a lot of first-year ballots, there are also some players that have been finalists for a while. Gary Sheffield is one of them. This is Sheffield’s 10th and final year on the ballot.
Sheffield played 22 years with eight different organizations and won a World Series with the Florida Marlins. Sheffield was one of the top hitters in baseball in the 90s.
Following his retirement, he has been staying out of sight and keeping a low profile, watching his sons embark on their own baseball journey and awaiting his Hall of Fame induction.
A Hall of Fame induction will mean a lot to these former players. These finalists have made tons of history on the baseball field, but to be a part of baseball history in Cooperstown would be even better.
These MLBbros getting inducted would also add to the rich legacy of African-American baseball players and allow them a spotlight to share their unique baseball journeys with the baseball world.