Will any former Red Sox players be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2023?
The 2023 Hall of Fame ballot was announced Monday, and several Boston Red Sox legends are among the 28 candidates eligible for this year’s BBWAA election.
Fourteen newcomers grace the ballot this year, including Bronson Arroyo, Jacoby Ellsbury, John Lackey, and Mike Napoli. They join Manny Ramirez, who received 28.2% in his sixth year on the ballot last winter, and Billy Wagner, who briefly pitched for the Red Sox in 2009. Retired players are eligible to remain on the BBWAA ballot for up to ten years as long as they receive the minimum 5% of votes each cycle. 75% is the threshold for election; David Ortiz was the only candidate elected last year, with 77.9% of the vote on his first ballot.
Are any of these former Sox going to join Ortiz in Cooperstown next year? Let’s revisit their careers:
Arroyo debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000, but they placed him on waivers before 2003, and that’s how the Red Sox got him. Before he made his Boston debut, he threw a perfect game for the Triple-A PawSox.
In 2004, Arroyo worked primarily as a starting pitcher, starting 29 of his 32 games that season. He lead MLB with 20 hit-by-pitch, including fellow HOF candidate Alex Rodriguez, which culminated in one of the Rivalry’s most iconic brawls with Jason Varitek.
A-Rod and Arroyo would cross swords again in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS when the smarmy Yankees slugger knocked a ball out of Arroyo’s glove while running to first.
He should be inducted into the Hall just for these contributions to the Rivalry.
Over a 16-year career with the Pirates, Sox, Reds, and Diamondbacks, Arroyo posted a 4.28 ERA across 2,435 2/3 regular-season innings. He won his only World Series with the Sox in 2004, was an All-Star in his first season in Cincinnati in 2006, and won a Gold Glove in 2010.
While Arroyo never tested positive for any performance-enhancing substance, he admitted in 2009 that he’d taken androstenedione and amphetamines in the late 90s, before they were officially banned. He said he gave up the practice when players began to suspect that the supplements were tainted.