Baseball Hall of Fame

Decent first showing for Utley, Wagner falls just short in Hall of Fame voting

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Chase Utley had a promising first showing and Billy Wagner fell just short of election as the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame voting results were revealed Tuesday night.

Utley received 28.8% of votes, garnering 111 total from the 385 voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Wagner, the Phillies' closer in two of his 16 seasons, fell just below the 75% threshold at 73.8. He needed only five more votes. This was his ninth year of eligibility.

Players remain on the ballot for 10 years unless they are elected to the Hall of Fame or receive less than 5% of votes. Wagner seems likely to gain election in his final year in 2025, while there is plenty of time for Utley to continue gathering momentum.

After all, one of the three players elected this year had an even lower first-year vote total than Utley. Todd Helton received 16.5% of votes in his first year, 2019, and was all the way up to 79.7% this year as he joined Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer and manager Jim Leyland in the Class of 2024, which is set for induction July 21 in Cooperstown.

For years, it had seemed that Utley's peak was not long enough. From 2005-09, he and Albert Pujols were the best overall players in baseball statistically. Utley hit .301/.388/.535 over that span, averaging 39 doubles, 29 home runs, 101 RBI and 111 runs scored with elite defense and baserunning. He was an MVP frontrunner in 2007 before suffering a broken hand, won a World Series in 2008 and hit five home runs in a World Series loss the following year.

It was one of the best runs any second baseman has ever had, but knee injuries cut short what looked like a surefire Hall of Fame career. Utley averaged 151 games during his five-year peak but just 116 over his final nine seasons.

In a prior era, the voting body would have likely decided Utley didn't perform at that level long enough. But there are more voters now who value rate stats and advanced metrics and that is clear from the first round of voting for Utley.

His longtime double-play partner, Jimmy Rollins, received 14.8% of votes in his third year on the ballot, an identical total to Bobby Abreu, who was in his fifth year. Rollins was up slightly and Abreu was down slightly from 2023.

Gary Sheffield needed 43 more votes. He finished at 63.9% in his 10th and final year on the ballot. His case is now in the hands of the BBWAA's Historical Overview Committee, which puts together the list of names for Hall of Fame consideration on the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee for 2026.

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