The National Baseball Hall of Fame has announced its ballot for 2019.
The list of potential inductees into Cooperstown is highlighted by first-year eligible players Mariano Rivera and the late Roy Halladay.
Other newcomers to the voting process include Andy Pettitte, Todd Helton, Vernon Wells, Miguel Tejada and Canadian Jason Bay.
There are also 15 holdovers on the list, including steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, as well as designated hitter Edgar Martinez, who will make his 10th and final appearance on the ballot this year.
He received 70.4 per cent of votes last year, falling short of the required 75 per cent to gain induction.
Rivera and Halladay should be shoe-ins, and might be the only two players to be inducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Rivera was baseball’s all-time best closer. When he entered the game, it was game over. The Yankees legend had 652 saves, won five World Series titles and was a 13-time All-Star.
Halladay, the former Blue Jays and Phillies ace who died last year in a plane crash, could be the first player since Roberto Clemente in 1973 to be elected posthumously.
“Doc” won the Cy Young Award twice and spun a perfect game and had a no-hitter in the playoffs and is considered one of his generation’s best big game pitchers.
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The most intriguing name on the ballot is former Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.
He certainly has Hall of Fame numbers, including 256 career wins (219 with the Yanks, good for third in franchise history) and five rings.
Pettitte, however, admitted using HGH in 2004 to help him recover from an elbow injury, and who knows, that may have forced some voters to turn their nose at him as they’ve done with Bonds and Clemens. Although the latter two remain steadfast in their denial of any wrongdoing whereas Pettitte’s admission of using a performance-enhancer might have him in the good graces of the voters.
List of first-year Hall of Fame eligible players: Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Lance Berkman, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Roy Oswalt, Placido Polanco, Andy Pettitte, Juan Pierre, Mariano Rivera, Miguel Tejada, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Young.
The results will be announced on Jan. 22.