The Baseball Writers’ Association of America has added 13 names to the ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2022, and four of them are former San Francisco Giants. Most notable is one of the players nearest and dearest to almost every Giants fan’s heart: Tim Lincecum.
While Lincecum reached some of the highest highs in the sport — winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, and then being a part of three championship teams — he’s very unlikely to get voted in due to the shortness of both his peak and his career.
He’s not the only Giants fan favorite joining the ballot, as fellow right-handed starting pitcher Jake Peavy — a key part of the 2014 World Series team — is also included this year.
On the other end of the fan favorite spectrum is catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who only spent one year with the Giants (2004), but managed to anger most of the fanbase, despite leading the Majors in a key statistical category (double plays grounded into).
Finally, right-handed reliever Joe Nathan, who bookended his 17-year career with stints in San Francisco, is also debuting on the Hall of Fame ballot.
There are other Giants links if you look closely. Jimmy Rollins never suited up in a meaningful game for the Giants or any of their affiliates, but his career ended with the black and orange, after he was signed to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training ahead of the 2017 season, before eventually being cut and deciding to hang up his cleats. Rollins’ long-time teammate with the Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Howard, is also on the ballot, and shares a name with a Giants prospect who will not be on the Hall of Fame ballot now or ever.
The other new additions to the ballot are Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Álex Rodríguez, and Mark Teixeira.
Lincecum, Peavy, Pierzynksi, and Nathan join four Giants who are returning to the ballot this year. Barry Bonds is making his tenth and final appearance on the ballot, and given that he only received votes on 61.8% of ballots last year, seems unlikely to meet the 75% threshold required to make the Hall. If you want to know my thoughts on the sports leader in MVP awards and home runs not being in the museum designed to tell the history of baseball greatness, you can find them here:
Very possibly joining Bonds as former Giants who won’t be on the ballot next year is Tim Hudson, who received just 5.2% of votes in his inaugural year on the ballot. Nominees need to receive at least 5% of votes to return the next year.
Omar Vizquel, who received 49.1% of votes last year and is entering his fifth year on the ballot, and Jeff Kent, who received 32.4% of votes and is entering his ninth year, round out the former Giants up for nomination.
The Hall of Fame class of 2022, if there is one (no one was inducted in 2021), will be announced on January 25.
In all likelihood, we won’t be celebrating a Giant entering the Hall of Fame until Buster Posey presumably gets there.