Derek Jeter didn’t have to wait very long for his personalized Cooperstown call.
On Tuesday night, the New York Yankees legend became a first-ballot, near-unanimous selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame (located in Cooperstown, N.Y.), missing out on a perfect ballot by just one writers vote.
Claiming 99.7 percent of the vote, Jeter (career numbers: 3,465 hits, 260 homers, 1,311 RBI, .310 average, .377 on-base percentage) was an easy headliner for this year’s two-man class of inductees.
Jeter will be joined by Expos/Rockies/Cardinals outfielder Larry Walker, a three-time NL batting champ, five-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove recipient … and the 1997 National League MVP (49 HR, 130 RBI, 33 steals, 143 runs, .366 batting, 1.172 OPS).
Walker, who secured 76.6 percent of the votes for Cooperstown, would have fallen off next year’s Hall of Fame ballot, if he didn’t make it on his 10th try.
Each Hall of Fame candidate must clear 75 percent for induction. The most notable outsiders include: Pitcher Curt Schilling (70 percent), seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens (61 percent), all-time home run champion Barry Bonds (60.7 percent) and defensive whiz Omar Vizquel (52.6 percent).
Clemens and Bonds obviously have the hardware and raw numbers for Cooperstown enshrinement; but they’re also paying a price for being wrapped up in Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing-drug days of the late 1990s/early 2000s.
Both players have two more years remaining of ballot consideration.
Come July, Jeter will become the 26th shortstop to gain entrance into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, joining an iconic group that includes Cal Ripken Jr., Ernie Banks, Ozzie Smith, Joe Cronin, Lou Boudreau, Alan Trammell, Luke Appling, Luis Aparicio, Robin Yount and Barry Larkin, among others.
The litany of Jeter’s accomplishments include:
**Five-time world champion with the Yankees (1996, 1998-2000, 2009)
**Five-time Gold Glove winner
**Five-time Silver Slugger (best hitter at his position)
**American League Rookie of the Year (1996)
**Seven American League pennants
**Thirteen American League East titles
**Fourteen All-Star berths (including one All-Star Game MVP)