Stark: Five things we learned from the 2020 Hall of Fame election

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on January 21, 2020:

He has been the Face of the Yankees. And Mr. November. And the inventive author of The Flip, The Dive, The Relay and The Walkoff Grand Finale. But there was still that one thing that Derek Jeter had never been, never done – until the January Tuesday that changed his life.

He had never been a Hall of Famer.

But on Tuesday, all those hits, all those signature moments, all that October glory led Jeter to the most illustrious achievement of his remarkable career. We could have told you a decade ago that we were watching a first-ballot Hall of Famer waiting to happen. But now we know we were watching something even more special. We were watching a man who would collect 99.7 percent of the vote on his way to Cooperstown — which may have left him one puzzling single vote short of unanimity, but was still the next-highest percentage of any Hall of Fame position player in history.

Maybe that came as a surprise to some people – the Yankee haters, the Jeter haters, the he-was-a-defensive-disaster aficionados, the folks whose knee-jerk reaction to every mention of his name was to tell you how overrated he was, or how, if he’d just been a Royal or a Brewer or a Padre, he’d have been no more glorified than Alcides Escobar.

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Originally published: January 22, 2020. Last Updated: January 22, 2020.