Billy Wagner will wait another year for Hall of Fame induction
The 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame announcement was made last night. We anxiously awaited news on if the Astros' dominating closer would be enshrined, joining Fred McGriff who was unanimously voted in by the Contemporary Era.
Instead, only former third baseman Scott Rolen will be joining McGriff. Rolen was the only player voted in. Bill Wagner received 68.1% of the vote, falling shy of the necessary 75% for enshrinement. This was a 17.1% jump for the flame-throwing lefty. He's carried a strong amount of momentum in years previous and the big jump this year gives hope he'll have his name called in one of his two remaining years on the ballot.
Wagner received 265 votes, 27 shy of the necessary amount for induction. Only Todd Helton received more votes among players not elected.
Of the eight relievers currently in Cooperstown, Wagner's career marks top most, and in some categories, all of the group.
His 11.92 strikeouts per nine and his .187 opponent batting average would rank first amongst Hall of Fame relievers. Of major league pitchers to throw at least 900 innings, his 11.92 strikeouts per nine is the top mark in league history, His 2.31 ERA would rank second amongst his Hall of Fame peers and his 85.9 save percentage would place him third.
His 422 saves are sixth on the all-time list, ahead of four of the Hall of Fame relievers.
The case for Wagner to be in the Hall of Fame is clear. As Chandler Rome pointed out on Twitter, his support rises each year.
Polarizing names like Bonds and Clemens have come off the ballot while younger voters tend to show more favor to relievers. This leaves great hope that the 2024 induction class will include Billy Wagner.