Ichiro Suzuki and CC Sabathia headline Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2025 candidates

Suzuki and Sabathia will likely get their call to Cooperstown in 2025

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Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer and Todd Helton got their call to Cooperstown, but who will be joining them in 2025?

The three players were named to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024 on Tuesday, as each surpassed the requisite 75% vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). They won’t be enshrined until the summer, but baseball fans can already start looking ahead to the 2025 ballot.

Next year’s voting will feature a handful of new candidates with a chance to get the call in their first year. It will also include some notable contenders looking to eclipse the required vote as their eligibility winds down.

Here’s a look at the top names to watch in the 2025 Baseball Hall of Fame voting process.

First-ballot potential

  • Ichiro Suzuki
  • CC Sabathia

The 2025 Baseball Hall of Fame class will almost certainly have two first-ballot members.

Ichiro Suzuki racked up 3,089 hits, 10 All-Star selections and an AL MVP award – and that’s just his MLB production. Suzuki spent nine years in Japan’s NPB before joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001 and promptly becoming an MVP.

CC Sabathia picked up 251 wins in his career and is a member of the 3,000-strikeout club. As far as accolades go, he was the AL Cy Young winner in 2007 and a key member of the New York Yankees’ World Series team in 2009.

Returning candidates

  • Billy Wagner
  • Andruw Jones
  • Carlos Beltran

Billy Wagner’s time to get called to Cooperstown is running out. The longtime closer, who ranks sixth all-time with 422 saves, appeared on 73.8% of ballots in 2024. He will need to make up the final 1.2% next year, which marks his 10th and final year of eligibility on the BBWAA ballot.

Andruw Jones (61.6%) and Carlos Beltran (57.1%) are the only other returning candidates who appeared on more than half of the ballots in 2024. Next year is Jones’ eighth year of eligibility and Beltran’s third.

Returning longshots

  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Manny Ramirez
  • Chase Utley

Despite their Hall of Fame statistics, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez’s ties to steroids have kept them out of Cooperstown so far. Rodriguez finished at 34.8% in his third year on the ballot and Ramirez finished at 32.5% in his eighth.

Chase Utley, meanwhile, started off his Hall of Fame eligibility by appearing on 28.8% of the ballots in 2024.

Omar Vizquel (17.7%), Bobby Abreu (14.8%), Jimmy Rollins (14.8%), Andy Pettitte (13.5%), Mark Buehrle (8.3%), Francisco Rodriguez (7.8%), Torii Hunter (7.3%) and David Wright (6.2%) will also be back on the ballot in 2025 after staying above the 5% minimum threshold in 2024.

First-year longshots

  • Dustin Pedroia
  • Felix Hernandez
  • Ian Kinsler
  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Brian McCann

While Suzuki and Sabathia are likely the only newcomers that will get their call to Cooperstown next year, several others have convincing cases to remain on the ballot for years to come.

Dustin Pedroia was the 2008 AL MVP, the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, a four-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time World Series champion. Felix Hernandez was the 2011 AL Cy Young winner, a six-time All-Star and tossed one of only 24 perfect games in MLB history.

Ian Kinsler (four-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves and one World Series), Troy Tulowitzki (five-time All-Star and two Gold Gloves) and Brian McCann (seven-time All-Star, six Silver Sluggers and one World Series) were also among the top players at their respective positions at their peaks.

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