The 2021 Hall of Fame ballot was released on Monday, and six former Houston Astros players will be looking to join the elite fraternity in Cooperstown next summer. Those six players are Billy Wagner, Roger Clemens, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettitte, Curt Schilling, and Bobby Abreu.
The Former Astros
This will be the sixth year on the ballot for Wagner. Having spent the first nine years of his career with the Astros, Wagner appeared in 464 games, had a 2.53 ERA with 225 saves, which is the most in team history. As it currently sits, Wagner has 46.4% of the vote so far. Which is an increase from 2020 in which Wagner received 31.7% of the vote.
In his final year of eligibility, Clemens is hoping this will be the year. Having spent the first 13 seasons with the Boston Red Sox and six seasons with the New York Yankees, the Texas native joined the Astros in 2004. Over the age of 40, Clemens still showed that he could pitch at a high level. With a 38-18 record, a 2.40 ERA with 505 strikeouts, Clemens guided the Astros to the team’s first National League pennant in 2005. The seven-time CY Young Award winner has some work to do as he currently has 61.6% of the vote, which is up a little from 2020, where he received 61.0% of the vote.
Having spent two seasons with the Astros, from 2003-2004, Kent is on his eighth year of being on the ballot. Kent currently has 32.4% of the vote, which is an increase from 2020, where he had 27.5% of the vote. In two seasons, the second baseman hit .293/.350/.521/.870. An All-Star in 2004, Kent helped guide the Astros to a deep postseason run, getting the Astros to Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals would go on to win the series.
Fellow Texan and Houston native Pettitte followed Clemens to Houston in 2004. A career that spanned over 18 seasons, Pettitte is on the ballot for the third year. The three-time All-Star and five-time World Series Champion has 13.7% of the votes, up from 11.3% in 2020. Pettitte went 37-26 with a 3.38 ERA in three seasons during his time with the Astros.
Most Astros fans may not remember, but Schilling was a part of the Astros organization for only one season back in 1991. With this being the final year of eligibility, Schillings currently has 71.1% of the votes, which means Schilling might make it into the Hall of Fame when all the ballots have been counted.
Abreu got his career started with the Astros in 1996. Lasting only two seasons with the Astros and appearing in only 74 games, Abreu spent most of his 18-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies. Abreu has received 8.7% of the vote on the ballot for only the second year, up from 2020, where he had 5.5% of the vote.
Voting for the former Astros and all former players on the ballot will run through January 25, 2022. The BBWAA will announce the results, and the newly elected players will be enshrined in Cooperstown in July of 2022. To be enshrined, players will need to be named on at least 75% of the voter’s ballots.
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