David Ortiz is a living legend in Boston, but does he deserve to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility?
Based on very early voting returns, the answer appears to be "yes."
The former Red Sox slugger is among 13 first-year additions and 30 total players on the ballot for the Hall of Fame Class of 2022. And as of Sunday, Ortiz was the only player on that ballot with at least 75% of total votes, which is the threshold to get into Cooperstown.
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Here's a look at the top 10 vote-getters with 59 public ballots submitted, per Ryan Thibodaux's Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Tracker (h/t to WEEI's Rob Bradford):
- David Ortiz: 80.6%
- Roger Clemens: 74.2%
- Barry Bonds: 74.2%
- Scott Rolen: 72.6%
- Curt Schilling: 69.4%
- Todd Helton: 54.8%
- Billy Wagner: 53.2%
- Andruw Jones: 50.0%
- Alex Rodriguez: 48.4%
- Gary Sheffield: 43.5%
For context, only 15.8% of the total ballots have been cast. So, Ortiz is very far from a lock for induction with voting open for nearly another month. No candidates received more than 75% of votes in 2021, so Ortiz faces an uphill battle.
Still, these early returns are a good sign that voters view Ortiz as a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate.
Big Papi is among three former Red Sox on the threshold of induction, as pitchers Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling are both among the top five vote-getters. Schilling came the closest to getting the call last year with 72.4 percent of votes, while Clemens earned 65.2 percent of votes.
Clemens and Schilling are both in their 10th and final year of eligibility, though, while Ortiz's candidacy is just getting started. The Baseball Writers' Association of America will announce its results on Jan. 25.