Days ahead of the 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame election results reveal, we're breaking down the former Toronto Blue Jays who appear on the 30-person shortlist for HoF contention.
The former MLB stars need votes on at least 75% of the ballots, as cast by tenured Baseball Writers Association of America members, to achieve induction into the Hall. The results of voting will be revealed on January 25th, but work from Ryan Thibodaux and the Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Tracker gives us a look into the candidate's chances.
His final year on the ballot, Clemens' has been held out of the Hall in large part due to voters' concerns with steroid use during his career. A seven-time Cy Young winner, 11-time All-Star, and a two-time World Series champ, two of the hard-throwing righty's best seasons came with the Blue Jays in the late-90s.
After inking a four-year, $40 million deal with Toronto ahead of the 1997 season, Clemens went on to win back-to-back Cys, lead the American League in ERA in '97 and '98, and rack up 563 strikeouts in two years with the Jays. After consecutive 20-win seasons, Clemens was dealt to the New York Yankees for David Wells, Graeme Lloyd, and Homer Bush.
With nearly 45% of the votes known, Clemens has appeared on 76.1% of the ballots so far. He'll need to appear on 73.1% of the remaining ballots, per the Hall of Fame Vote Tracker, to gain induction.
The most recent Blue Jay on the ballot, Buehrle pitched the final three years of his career in Toronto, earning an All-Star appearance and leading the AL in walk-rate and complete games pitched in his final season.
The craft lefty received just 11.0% of the vote in his first year on the shortlist in 2021 and is at 5.1% amongst known ballots so far. The five-time All-Star, 2005 World Series champion, and four-time gold glove winner will need over 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot next year.
A brief Blue Jay, this is Kent's ninth year in contention after appearing on 33.9% of ballots in 2021. The infielder was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 1989 draft from the University of California, but played just 65 games for Toronto in 1992 before he was shipped over to the New York Mets for pitcher David Cone at the deadline. The Jays would go on to win a World Series that year and Kent would go on to play 2298 games, win an MVP in 2000, and appear in five All-Star Games.
In Rolen's 17-year career, the towering third basemen never won a Silver Slugger or MVP, but he was one of the best defensive hot corners in baseball and compiled impressive statistics across a 17-year career. Finishing his time in baseball with eight Gold Gloves and a career .855 OPS, Rolen played 203 games for the Jays in 2008 and 2009 before he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Edwin Encarnacion.
Rolen currently appears on the fourth-most ballots for this year's Hall of Fame class, but will need to appear on 79.2% of the remaining lists to earn immortalization in Cooperstown.
On the final stop of his six-team and nearly 3000 game MLB career, Vizquel played 60 games for the Blue Jays in 2012 before hanging up the cleats.
A wizard in the field, Vizquel earned 11 Gold Gloves and three All-Star appearances across his 24 big league seasons. His strongest offensive season came in 1999 for Cleveland, when Vizquel posted an .833 OPS and came 16th in MVP voting.
After appearing on nearly 50% of the ballots last year, Vizquel is down to just 11.4% in votes known so far for in 2022.