Adrián Béltre, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer Elected to Hall of Fame

Two of Cooperstown's newest inductees enter on first ballot.

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 is here. With it comes three new Hall of Famers. The class is headlined by third baseman Adrián Béltre, first baseman Todd Helton, and catcher Joe Mauer. Beltré and Mauer will enter as first-ballot Hall of Famers, with both surpassing the required 75% threshold of votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America to make it into Cooperstown. Helton, meanwhile, makes it to the Hall after six years of eligibility.

Joining the three players is Jim Leyland, manager of the 1997 World Series winning Florida Marlins. Leyland was elected thanks to the Hall’s Contemporary Baseball Era Committee, which examines the cases of nonplayers worthy of the honor post-1980. Leyland will enter Cooperstown after 22 years as a manager with a World Series ring, two pennants, and a 1,769-1,728 managerial record.

Missing the cut this year was reliever Billy Wagner and outfielder Gary Sheffield. Their exclusion is bittersweet for both players but for different reasons. Despite Wagner’s credentials, he fell just short of making the Hall at 73.8% of the vote. Had Wagner gotten just five more votes, he would have joined Beltre, Mauer, and Helton. Adding to Wagner’s pain, 2025 will be his 10th and final year of eligibility. It’s a type of ache Sheffield knows well. 2024 was his 10th and final year of eligibility. He ended up with only 63.9% of the vote, well shy of the necessary 75%.

Regardless, Béltre, Mauer, and Helton form a worthy triumvirate. They will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 21 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Here is a look at this year’s class.


Adrián Béltre, third baseman


Percentage of votes received: 95.1% (366 of 385 votes)

Teams played for: Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2004), Seattle Mariners (2005-09), Boston Red Sox (2010), Texas Rangers (2011-18)

Why he is a Hall of Famer: Beltré’s legacy spans four teams, starting with the Dodgers as a 19-year-old. Over the next six seasons, Beltre blossomed into a quality player but failed to make a single All-Star team or win any major award. It wasn’t until his seventh season that Beltre became the player deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame.

Beltré went from a career slash line of .262/.320/.428 through his first six seasons to a 2004 slash line of .334/.388/.629. At 25 years old, Beltré finished with a 1.017 OPS and a 9.7 fWAR while launching 48 home runs, tallying 121 RBIs, 32 doubles, 200 hits, and 376 total bases. Each metric was a then career high and pushed Beltré to a second-place finish in the National League MVP race and his first Silver Slugger Award.

After leaving for the Mariners in free agency, Beltré faced ups and downs over the next five years. But from 2010 to 2018, Beltré established himself as one of baseball’s offensive and defensive juggernauts. He collected four All-Star appearances, three top-10 finishes in MVP voting, three Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves, and two Platinum Gloves. During that time, Beltré slashed .307/.358/.514 with a .872 OPS, 227 home runs, 801 RBIs, 288 doubles, and 2459 total bases. The only players to beat Beltre’s 42.5 fWAR during these years were Mike Trout, Buster Posey, Robinson Canó, Joey Votto, Andrew McCutchen, and Miguel Cabrera.


fWAR Leaders from 2010-18

Beltré hung up his cleats after the 2018 season, walking away after 21 MLB seasons and 2,759 games at third base, the second-most in MLB history. Offensively, Beltré retired with 3,166 hits, 477 home runs, 1,707 RBIs, 121 steals, and 636 doubles. His 3,166 hits are the most all-time by a player not born in the United States, while his career 83.8 fWAR is seventh among third basemen in MLB history.

At his position, Beltré ranks in the top 10 in hits (third), home runs (sixth), runs scored (sixth), RBIs (third), and doubles (second). Beltré was the type of player rarely seen and seldom duplicated. He was an offensive maestro and defensive wizard. He’ll enter Cooperstown on July 21 as one of the best third basemen to step onto the diamond.


Todd Helton, first baseman


Percentage of votes received: 79.7% (307 of 394)

Team played for: Colorado Rockies (1997-2013)

Why he is a Hall of Famer: Helton’s career numbers speak for themselves a .316 batting average, .414 OBP, .539 slugging percentage, .953 OPS, 369 home runs, 592 doubles, 1,401 runs scored, 1,406 RBIs, and 4,292 total bases. His stunning career includes five All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves, and a batting title.

Putting Helton’s entire career aside, his 2000 season is one of the best offensive seasons in recent memory. Over 160 games, Helton slashed .372/.463/.698 with a 1.162 OPS. Those numbers, along with Helton’s 216 hits, 59 doubles, 147 RBI, 405 total bases, and 8.3 fWAR, led the NL. Impossibly, Helton, at 26 years old, had a better statistical season than Barry Bonds, Andruw Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, and Chipper Jones.

Yet even more unfathomable, Helton did not win the MVP this season. He didn’t even finish second, third, or fourth in voting. Helton finished fifth behind winner Jeff Kent, Bonds, Mike Piazza, and Jim Edmonds. This is despite Helton surpassing them in every offensive metric aside from walks, which Bonds led the league in. It is an unbelievable snub that completely changes the trajectory of Helton’s career and reputation. Had he won the 2000 NL MVP, it would be the exclamation point on his Hall of Fame resume. Instead, it’s the one individual honor missing.

To discredit Helton’s MVP case and Hall of Fame entry, one could point to his 1,141 home games at the launching pad known as Coors Field. While Helton’s home splits .345/.441/.607 with a 1.048 OPS, 227 home runs, 859 RBIs, 321 doubles, and 2,452 total bases surpass his road splits, the latter is still spectacular. In 1,106 road games, Helton slashed .287/.386/.469 with a .855 OPS, 142 home runs, 547 RBIs, 271 doubles, and 1,840 total bases.

Helton’s .855 road OPS is higher than the career OPS of current Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Tony Gwynn, Reggie Jackson, Carl Yastrzemski, and Yogi Berra. Knocking Helton because of where he played is a fool’s errand. He’d belong in the Hall of Fame in any era.


Helton’s Road OPS Rank vs. Other Hall of Famers

Regardless of where Helton stands among his peers, he stands alone within the Rockies organization. Thanks to his 17-year career in Colorado, Helton leads the team in fWAR and bWAR, games played, runs scored, hits, singles, doubles, extra-base hits, home runs, RBIs, walks, runs created, and intentional walks.

The only offensive categories Helton does not lead the Rockies in are batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS. Despite that, Helton is tied for third in batting average, second in OBP, seventh in slugging percentage, and third in OPS. He is inescapable. You cannot tell the history of the Colorado Rockies without Todd Helton because the Colorado Rockies are Todd Helton.

After Tuesday, you cannot tell the history of baseball and the Hall of Fame without Helton.


Joe Mauer, catcher


Percentage of votes received: 76.1% (293 of 385)

Team played for: Minnesota Twins (2004-18)

Why he is a Hall of Famer: Mauer enters the Hall of Fame as one of the best defensive catchers of his era and arguably one of the best offensive catchers in baseball history.

From 2006 to 2010, Mauer put up a near-unprecedented resume behind and at the plate. Over those five years, Mauer slashed .355/.416/.491 with a .907 OPS and a 143 OPS+. He compiled four top-eight finishes in American League MVP voting, four All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves, and three batting titles, the most ever for a player at the catcher position.


Joe Mauer, 2006-10

Mauer’s .444 OBP in 2009 remains the highest by a catcher in a single season, as does his .365 batting average, which made Mauer the first AL catcher to win the MVP award. The Minnesota native also led the league in slugging percentage and OPS in 2009 en route to his only MVP award.

During this time, Mauer led his position in average, OBP, OPS, wRC+, hits, triples, runs scored, walks, and fWAR. His 29.5 fWAR was third in all of baseball during these seasons, behind only future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols and Chase Utley. Among all position players from 2006-10, Mauer ranked first in batting average, fourth in OBP, 10th in wRC+, 11th in singles, 15th in OPS, and 20th in hits.

When Mauer retired in 2018, he left behind a career slash line of .306/.388/.439, a .827 OPS, .995 fielding percentage as a catcher, 2,123 hits, 143 home runs, 923 RBIs, 1,018 runs scored, 3,040 total bases, and 53 fWAR in 1,858 games played. Among all catchers, Mauer ranks fourth in walks, eighth in singles and OBP, 11th in hits, 14th in batting average, 15th in fWAR and runs scored, 22nd in RBI, and 25th in games played.

Mauer, born and raised in St. Paul, Minn., had the chance to live out every child’s dream of playing for and being drafted first overall by their hometown team. Except Mauer didn’t just play on the team. He became one of the franchise greats. For his efforts, the Twins retired his No. 7 jersey in 2019. It, and his legacy, will live forever in Minnesota and now Cooperstown.

Josh Shaw

Josh Shaw graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2022 with a Journalism degree. He's written for The New Hampshire, Pro Sports Fanatics, and PitcherList.

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