Investing In 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Candidates

December 4, 2021

The 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was revealed in November 2021. You may be wondering if investing in 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame candidates is a good idea. We have the full guide.

Profiles of 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees:

Hall of Fame Elections in a Nutshell

Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of the sport. The place where the very best of the best get honored. Discussing who deserves to get in, who will get in, and what it will do for the value of their cards goes a long way towards filling the cold, baseball-less months.

Today, we’ll take a look at the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Our dive will examine who is likely to be elected, their key rookie cards, and what players on the ballot might be the best investments.

 The BBWAA Ballot

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. If they fail to be elected, players still can make it in future years.

However, they drop off the ballot in two instances. First, the BBWAA removes a player after appearing on less than 5% of the ballots in a given year. Others may be dropped after appearing on the ballot for 10 years straight unsuccessfully.

Seventeen players will return to the ballot from last year’s list. They will be joined by a number of first-year eligible players who retired 5 years ago (2016). The full ballot with the new candidates will be announced on November 22nd.

Results of the voting will be announced on January 25th, with the induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY, in July.

Induction into the Hall is the pinnacle of a successful career (look for HOF plaques on eBay)

How Being Elected to the Hall of Fame Effects Card Values

In the short term, players tend to see a bump in value around the announcement of their election. There can be a second bump on their inauguration weekend.

Why? When a player makes news, it increases demand. Demand leads to increased sales volume, leading to higher prices. An example of the “in the news” effect is the recent retirement of Buster Posey. Immediately following the announcement, he saw a jump in the value of his rookie card. Hall of Fame election has a similar effect.

Long-term, the initial bumps will dissipate. However, being a member of the Hall of Fame tends to provide a long-term baseline value. After all, someone starts a collection of Hall of Fame rookie cards every day. Therefore, demand is virtually guaranteed.

One variable in the size of the jump in value that comes with the election is how expected the player was to make the Hall of Fame. For a no-doubt Hall of Fame, like Derek Jeter, the bump might be on the lower side. Expect 10-20% or so.

If the player is a surprise selection, the increase can be significantly higher. Think Lee Smith, Harold Baines, or Ted Simmons. Smith, for example, saw his rookie cards selling for as much as ten times what they had only weeks before. These surprise selections often happen with the “era committee” votes (formerly known as the veteran’s committee). However, they can occur in the BBWAA vote from time to time. Even a significant jump in the voting, shy of the threshold for enshrinement, can give a player a considerable boost.

Ted Simmons cards got a nice boost when he was elected to the HOF (look for his rookie cards on eBay)

Investing In 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Candidates: The Ballot

Let’s take a quick look at the players on the ballot. We will examine their 2021 vote percentage, key rookie card, PSA pops, and recent sale prices.

Returning Candidates

Curt Schilling

% Vote = 71.1%

Year on Ballot: 10

RC: 1989 Donruss #635

PSA 10 Pop = 1,366

Total PSA Pop = 6,264

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $50-75

Barry Bonds

% Vote = 61.8%

Year on Ballot: 10

RC: 1986 Topps Traded #11T

PSA 10 Pop = 4,763

Total PSA Pop = 51,942

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $400-450

Roger Clemens

% Vote = 61.6%

Year on Ballot: 10

RC: 1984 Fleer Update #U27

PSA 10 Pop = 574

Total PSA Pop = 5,744

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $2,000

Scott Rolen

% Vote = 52.9%

Year on Ballot: 5

RC: 1995 Bowman’s Best #87

PSA 10 Pop = 186

Total PSA Pop = 2,154

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $500

Omar Vizquel

% Vote = 49.1%

Year on Ballot: 5

RC: 1989 Topps Traded #122T

PSA 10 Pop = 989

Total PSA Pop = 1,586

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $40

Billy Wagner

% Vote = 46.4%

Year on Ballot: 7

RC: 1994 Bowman’s Best #19

PSA 10 Pop = 76

Total PSA Pop = 141

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $125

Todd Helton

% Vote = 44.9%

Year on Ballot: 4

RC: 1993 Topps Traded #19

PSA 10 Pop = 1,091

Total PSA Pop = 5,855

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $150

Gary Sheffield

% Vote = 40.6%

Year on Ballot: 8

RC: 1989 Topps #343

PSA 10 Pop = 543

Total PSA Pop = 1,397

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $50

Andrew Jones

% Vote = 33.9%

Year on Ballot: 5

RC: 1995 Bowman’s Best #7

PSA 10 Pop = 373

Total PSA Pop = 3,385

Recent PSA 10 Sales =$200-250

Jeff Kent

% Vote = 32.4%

Year on Ballot: 9

RC: 1992 Fleer Update #U104

PSA 10 Pop = 123

Total PSA Pop = 719

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $175

Manny Ramirez

% Vote = 28.2%

Year on Ballot: 6

RC: 1992 Bowman #532

PSA 10 Pop = 2,024

Total PSA Pop = 10,179

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $40-70

Sammy Sosa

% Vote = 17%

Year on Ballot: 10

RC: 1990 Leaf #220

PSA 10 Pop = 1,782

Total PSA Pop = 26,694

Recent PSA 10 Sales =$75-125

Andy Pettitte

% Vote = 13.7%

Year on Ballot: 4

RC: 1993 Bowman #103

PSA 10 Pop = 223

Total PSA Pop = 968

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $250-300

Mark Buehrle

% Vote = 11%

Year on Ballot: 2

RC: 2000 Bowman Chrome #69

PSA 10 Pop = 311

Total PSA Pop = 594

Recent PSA 10 Sales = NA

Torii Hunter

% Vote = 9.5%

Year on Ballot: 2

RC: 1994 Bowman #104

PSA 10 Pop = 35

Total PSA Pop = 130

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $120

Bobby Abreu

% Vote = 8.7%

Year on Ballot: 3

RC: 1995 Bowman #4

PSA 10 Pop = 58

Total PSA Pop = 399

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $50

Tim Hudson

% Vote = 5.2%

Year on Ballot: 2

RC: 1999 Bowman Chrome #375

PSA 10 Pop = 66

Total PSA Pop = 774

Recent PSA 10 Sales =NA

Will Barry Bonds make it despite the dark cloud above his career? (look for his rookie cards on eBay)

Likely First-Time Candidates

Alex Rodriguez

RC: 1994 SP #15

PSA 10 Pop = 59

Total PSA Pop = 16,876

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $900

David Ortiz

RC: 1997 Ultra #512

PSA 10 Pop = 120

Total PSA Pop = 532

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $1,300

Mark Teixeira

RC: 2001 SP #212

PSA 10 Pop = 116

Total PSA Pop = 276

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $100

Jimmy Rollins

RC: 1998 Bowman Chrome #181

PSA 10 Pop = 319

Total PSA Pop = 705

Recent PSA 10 Sales =$90-110

Jake Peavy

RC: 2001 Bowman Chrome Refractor #183

PSA 10 Pop = 12

Total PSA Pop = 114

Recent PSA 10 Sales =NA

Carl Crawford

RC: 1999 Bowman Chrome #440

PSA 10 Pop = 332

Total PSA Pop = 1,110

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $15

Jonathan Papelbon

RC: 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft

PSA 10 Pop = 197

Total PSA Pop = 531

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $100

Justin Morneau

RC: 2001 Bowman Chrome #169

PSA 10 Pop = 27

Total PSA Pop = 230

Recent PSA 10 Sales = NA

Joe Nathan

RC: 1999 Bowman Chrome #388

PSA 10 Pop = 17

Total PSA Pop = 33

Recent PSA 10 Sales = NA

A.J. Pierzynski

RC: 1996 Bowman #344

PSA 10 Pop = 22

Total PSA Pop = 37

Recent PSA 10 Sales = NA

Prince Fielder

RC: 2006 Topps #639

PSA 10 Pop = 80

Total PSA Pop = 115

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $50

Tim Lincecum

RC: 2007 Bowman Chrome #217

PSA 10 Pop = 162

Total PSA Pop = 228

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $125

Ryan Howard

RC: 2003 Bowman Chrome #138

PSA 10 Pop = 272

Total PSA Pop = 651

Recent PSA 10 Sales = $30

Is Mark Texeira Hall-of-Fame worthy? (look for his autos on eBay)

Investing In 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Candidates: Who Gets In

Of the first-year eligible players, the only one with a chance to get elected this year is David Ortiz. Some seem to question if he’ll get in the first ballot, but I think he clears the 75% mark and takes his rightful place in Cooperstown. He may not pass 75% by a lot, but I think he gets in.

I expect this is the year that Schilling gets over the hump and gets over 75% of the votes, and finally gets inducted.

I don’t expect any players who have a PED cloud hanging over their candidacy to get elected. Alex Rodriguez joins the group in his debut year on the ballot.

I don’t think Scott Rolen will entirely get elected. Nonetheless, I expect a bump, perhaps to 65-70%. This increase will set him up nicely for enshrinement in an upcoming election.

I expect vote increases for Billy Wagner and Todd Helton as well, although probably not huge increases. I expect both to be elected before their 10 years on the ballot are over.

The vote totals of Omar Vizquel and Andrew Jones are likely to stagnate, thanks to the abuse clouds that hang over them both.

I fear that the ballot could lose two players who may eventually end up in Cooperstown to the 5% rule in Bobby Abreu and Tim Hudson.

Names Of Interest

I don’t expect any of the other first-year eligible players to come close to election, and most will fall off the ballot after this vote. However, a few interesting names on the ballot likely won’t get much attention and likely not high vote totals. Players like Jimmy Rollins, Joe Nathan, and Jonathan Papelbon. Some might fall off the ballot entirely, but keep an eye on them.

Questionable facial hair decisions aside, this could be Curt Schilling’s year (look for his RC’s on eBay)

Investing in the Hall of Fame Ballot

Schilling and Ortiz, two players likely to be inducted, were Red Sox teammates on the 2004 and 2007 World Champs. Collecting their cards should pay dividends if you buy now.

Oritz’s rookie cards are already pretty expensive. However, enough people doubt he’ll be elected, especially in his first year, that they’ll see a bump.

Meanwhile, Schilling’s only actual rookie card is from a vastly overproduced set. Therefore, while I expect a bump, it may not be large. If you want something higher dollar on Schilling, check out his 1986 ProCards Elmira Pioneers card. That is if you can find it. It’s only a PSA pop of 33, with only 4 gem mints.

Scott Rolen and Billy Wagner are two more players who may see a bump. Indeed, it may occur even if they don’t get elected. After all, the expected increase in card value will solidify their status as legitimate candidates.

If you’re looking to play the long game, a few players are to consider. For example, Hudson and Abreu won’t break the bank. However, they may someday be “surprise” Hall of Fame selections that see big jumps in value.

Minor League cards are a great way to invest in future Hall-of-Famers (look for Jeter minor league cards on eBay)

Minor League Options for Major League Hall of Famers

Many of the players appearing on the ballot now and appear on minor league cards in the coming years. We explored minor league cards in our article Are Minor League Cards Worth Anything?

My take? Minor league cards are often in lower demand than a player’s “true” rookie card but often pre-date that rookie card and have much lower print runs. Also, to me, they are unique collectibles and a lot of fun!

Especially for some of these Hall of Fame candidates with “junk wax” rookie cards, minor league cards are an excellent alternative (or additional) option to collect.

The Bottomline On Investing In 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Candidates 

Election to the Hall of Fame elevates great players to a new level and typically does good things for the value of their cards. The annual Hall of Fame election is a great chance to add value to your collection, turn a profit selling, and further enjoy the great game and hobby we all love.