Todd Helton fell just short with 72.2 percent.
Just behind him was stellar closer Billy Wagner, whose name appeared on 68.1 percent of the ballots.
The talented left-hander was, for more than a decade, the most dominant left-handed reliever in baseball.
Having to wait another year for a shot at immortality is definitely not the way he should be treated, especially knowing that he compares well against a fellow legend.
“The fact Mariano Rivera was a unanimous HOFer and Billy Wagner STILL isn’t in the Hall of Fame irritates tf outta me,” The Game Day MLB tweeted, with a comparative chart between the two all-time greats.
The fact Mariano Rivera was a unanimous HOFer and Billy Wagner STILL isn't in the Hall of Fame irritates tf outta me 🤨
— The Game Day MLB (@TheGameDayMLB) January 24, 2023
As you can see, Mariano has more seasons in MLB, a better ERA, 230 more saves, and a much higher FanGraphs WAR.
However, Wagner has the edge in strikeouts, despite pitching four fewer seasons, FIP, K/9, and held hitters to a lower average.
Numerically, they are both actually pretty close.
We are all familiar to what Mariano means to the New York Yankees and MLB in general, not to mention he was a beast in playoffs play.
However, it doesn’t make sense that given their similar statistical profiles, one is a unanimous Hall of Famer and the other one is still trying to get in.
Wagner and his 2.31 ERA, 422 saves and 1,196 punchouts in 903 innings will have to wait another year.
It’s not fair to him, as his contributions to five teams and to baseball are generally overlooked.