Former Houston Astros closer Billy Wagner had a lot of ground to make up if he was going to get to the Hall of Fame. So far, so good in the early voting.
According to the Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker, 33 votes have been revealed, with 29 of those having been made public. Wagner has gained nine votes out of those 29 ballots, pushing him over 70% of the vote thus far.
Former Houston Astros closer Billy Wagner could make major push to Hall of Fame
This could be the fourth consecutive year that Wagner makes a significant move towards immortality. He had languished in the 10% range for his first four years on the ballot, his 16.7% total in 2019 his high water mark of his first four years on the ballot.
Since that point, Wagner has seen his candidacy gain traction. His votes have steadily increased over the years, leading to his receiving 51.0% of the vote in 2022. The only question is whether or not he will have enough time to get to that magical 75% threshold and achieve immortality.
Wagner does have a strong case for induction. He posted a 2.31 ERA and a 0.998 WHiP in his 903 innings, striking out 1196 batters with just 300 walks as he notched 422 saves. A seven time All Star and the 1999 NL Rolaids Reliever of the Year, he had been one of the better closers in the game for an extended period of time.
It is doubtful that Wagner will gain 24% of the vote and be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Even getting to 60% of the vote would be a tremendous accomplishment and one that could push him towards being inducted in his tenth year. He just needs to continue the momentum he has thus far.
Billy Wagner is seeing a tremendous influx of support for the Hall of Fame thus far. The former Houston Astros closer to make a significant jump this year.