The last Milwaukee Brewers player to get inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and don a Brewers cap on his plaque was Paul Molitor in 2004. We’ll have to wait even longer for the next Brewers player to get inducted.
Sure, in recent years there have been a couple of Hall of Fame inductees with strong Brewers ties. Former team owner and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was elected in 2017 and former catcher Ted Simmons was voted in in 2020. But there’s always the wait towards the next inductee to go into the Hall as a Brewer.
Most of the players on the ballot now had their primes in the late 1990s or in the 2000s. Those were really kind of the dark ages of Brewers baseball and they did not have anyone worthy of the Hall. But yet, Milwaukee had a candidate on the ballot this year in Prince Fielder.
Brewers legend Prince Fielder came up short on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot, receiving just two total votes and he will not be on the ballot next year.
Per the Hall of Fame’s rules, players must received at least 5% of the vote from the BBWAA voters to remain on the ballot for the following year. Prince Fielder did not reach that threshold. He received just 0.5% of the vote.
The two writers who voted for Fielder were not immediately known. Per Ryan Thibodaux’s HOF Tracker, no writers who publicly released their ballots before the announcement on Tuesday had voted for Fielder. There were nearly 200 writers who did not make their ballots publicly known. Some may become known in the coming weeks as the BBWAA releases all the data.
Still, it’s a tough break for Fielder, but not an unexpected one. Fielder was on a Hall of Fame track once, but a neck injury cut his career short and ultimately wasn’t able to accrue the counting stats or the longevity necessary to be viewed by enough writers as a Hall of Fame player. Even receiving 5% of the vote would’ve been tough for Prince, especially with a somewhat crowded ballot of names who had been eligible for a long time.
It’s nice to see that Fielder got at least two votes. It’s better than zero. But it won’t be enough to keep him on the ballot.
Next year, former Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez will be a first-time eligible on the ballot and he represents the next shot for Milwaukee to have a player in the Hall, although his case is far from a slam dunk.
There will be several former Brewers eligible for the Hall in 2025, including Carlos Gomez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Reynolds, and CC Sabathia. Of the four, Sabathia has the best case for induction, but his half-season with Milwaukee won’t convince him to don a Brewers cap on his plaque.
Then, of course, there’s Ryan Braun, who will be eligible for the Hall for the first time in 2026. Will he get in? No. But it’ll be interesting to see how many votes he gets and if he is able to stay on the ballot for a second year.
Prince Fielder will at least have one induction to attend in 2022, as he will be inducted into the Brewers Walk of Fame later this summer.
Congratulations to David Ortiz, who was the lone player selected to the Hall by the writers this year.