The 2022 BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame election results were announced live on MLB Network on January 25. In a close result, David Ortiz was the only player elected, with 77.9% of the vote. What does it mean for the hobby? We present the David Ortiz cards HOF primer for your edification.
The 2022 Hall of Fame class is a large one. In addition to Ortiz, the class includes Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, and Tony Oliva. The players will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend on Sunday, July 24, at 1:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown.
Let’s take a closer look at the election results and what they mean for Ortiz’s card values and those of the other players on the ballot.
Let’s start with a refresher on how a player can be elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.
A player becomes eligible for election into the Hall of Fame five years after their retirement. For example, suppose a player had a 10-year career and was selected by the committee. In that case, they appear on the ballot to be voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). A player appears on the ballot until elected by appearing on 75% of ballots, dropping off the ballot by appearing on less than 5% of ballots, or appearing on the ballot for 10 years.
Before becoming “Big Papi,” the player wasn’t always known as David Ortiz. Instead, several key early cards identify him as “David Arias.”
Regardless of what you call him, Ortiz’s rookie cards appeared in 1997. He appeared on 14 total cards that year, so there’s something for everyone.
The most “mainstream” David Ortiz rookie cards are in the 1997 Fleer Tradition and 1997 Fleer Ultra sets. The 1997 Fleer was selling comfortably at $450 recently, but prices climbed into the $600-700 range as the Hall of Fame announcement approached.
Look for that price to continue to rise as fans clamor to add the rookie card of the newest Hall of Famer to their collections. Unfortunately, the 1997 Fleer Ultra is a bit harder to come by and also looks to be climbing. The card was selling in the $1,100-1,500 range, but as the announcement arrived, prices started to climb towards $2,000.
Looking for an insert Ortiz RC? Try the 1997 Flair Showcase Wave of the Future. Looking for an autographed RC? Check out the Donruss Signature Series.
Looking for minor league cards? Ortiz appears on several Best cards, both pack-based and team set formats. Since the card is from the late ’90s, there are limited print-run parallels of a number of the cards mentioned.
Of note is that Ortiz also appears on two minor league pre-rookie cards produced by Best in 1996. They’re a couple of exciting options if you can track them down.
As with the Fleer and Ultra cards, expect all of Ortiz’s rookie and pre-rookie cards to see increased demand and prices through induction weekend, with prices remaining above pre-election prices in the future.
|Year/Set||Total PSA Pop||Recent Sale Pop||Recent Sale Price|
|1997 Fleer David Arias #512||1,534||PSA 10 = 1,141||$600-700|
|1997 Fleer Ultra David Arias #518||566||PSA 10 = 124||$2,000|
|1997 Flair Showcase David Ortiz #11||288||PSA 10 = 147||$500-650|
|1997 Donruss Signature Millennium Marks||1||PSA 9= 1||$950|
|1997 Best Florida State League TP||45||PSA 10 = 23||$125-150|
|1997 Best Rock Cats #74||67||PSA 10 = 23||$100|
|1996 Best Midwest All Stars #2||14||PSA 10 = 10||$325-350|
In addition to Ortiz’s election, one key element of this ballot is the “aging off” ballot of several players who have received high vote totals during their time on the ballot. Still, because of various reasons, they were not elected.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa were some of the most exciting and accomplished players of their era. But their alleged use of PED’s soured many voters on their candidacies, and they never reached the 75% required.
Curt Schilling may go down as the first player to talk themselves out of the Hall of Fame. While it took his candidacy a few years to gain momentum, he was on the cusp of election. But unfortunately, his questionable social media behavior, followed by asking off the 2022 ballot, appears to have sealed his fate. At least for now.
All four players will not appear on upcoming BBWAA ballots but will be eligible to be considered by the era committees in the future.
|Player||2022 Vote %|
The following players received less than 5% of the vote. As a result, they will be dropped off of future ballots: Joe Nathan (4.3%), Tim Hudson (3.0%), Tim Lincecum (2.3%), Ryan Howard (2.0%), Mark Teixeira (1.5%), Justin Morneau (1.3%), Jonathan Papelbon (1.3%), Prince Fielder (0.5%), A.J. Pierzynski (0.5%), Carl Crawford (0.0%) and Jake Peavy (0.0%).
These players will have to wait for the Modern Game Era Committee to reconsider their candidacy down the road. However, don’t sleep on these players, as I feel there’s a compelling case to be made that Mark Buerhle, Tim Hudson, and Joe Nathan are worthy of induction.
Also, any article on the 2022 election mentions the shocking drop in votes experienced by Omar Vizquel. After receiving 49.1% of the vote in 2021 and looking like someone on the cusp of the election, Vizquel’s vote total dropped to 23.9%. Domestic violence accusations surfaced between the two election cycles, and now Vizquel looks like a longshot. This represents the most significant drop-offs year-to-year in Hall of Fame voting history.
Heading into the next election cycle, what can we expect?
With the four players mentioned above dropping off the ballot, plus Ortiz’s election, an enormous number of potential votes will be “freed up.” The decision presents an opportunity for both new candidates and those returning to the ballot.
New candidates in 2023 include Matt Cain, Andre Ethier, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Francisco Rodriguez, and Jayson Werth. Carlos Beltran is the most likely new candidate to make the Hall of Fame eventually. The big question for his 2023 vote total is how much voters punish him for his role in the Houston Astros’ “trash can” cheating scandal.
With only one new candidate likely to garner significant support, 2023 will provide a chance for some players returning to the ballot to make a substantial step forward and potentially pass the 75% threshold.
The key players who may have a shot at 75% of the vote in 2023 include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, and Billy Wagner. Of course, it’s unlikely that all four of these players get inducted in 2023, but all should eventually make it, and 1-2 of them could get the call next election.
All of these players could see a slight bump in demand and value of their rookie cards but remain good potential investments ahead of an expected rise in their card values upon election.
|Player||2022 Vote %|
The 2022 BBWAA Ballot results continued an exciting Hall of Fame season. Ortiz’s election should send his cards to new demand and price levels. In addition, several players dropping off the ballot will provide opportunities in 2023 for more players to join Ortiz in Cooperstown.
The voting results surely give us plenty of fodder to review, analyze, and argue about as we look ahead to 2023.