Following the 2021 MLB season, Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays and Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds were named the AL and NL Rookie of the Year, respectively. Fans now hope Arozarena and India can build on their terrific first season and play long, successful careers.
Since its introduction in 1947, 150 different MLB players have won Rookie of the Year honors. While it may seem like players who play well in their first season should only continue to improve and remain successful for their entire career, the reality is that winning Rookie of the Year is no guarantee of long-term success. Of the 150 Rookie of the Year winners, only 17 have made it into the MLB Hall of Fame
To determine the Rookie of the Year winners that made the Baseball Hall of Fame, 24/7 Tempo reviewed player information from Baseball Reference.
Though fewer than 20 of the 150 Rookie of the Year winners have made the Hall of Fame thus far, that is likely to change soon. Previous winners like Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki will no doubt be elected once they become eligible after being retired for five years.
Many players like Dwight Gooden who won Rookie of the Year in the past could not maintain the lofty statistics they posted in their first season. Some played well for a while, but others like Kansas City’s Bob Hamelin never made an All-Star team and fell out of the league quickly. Many were solid Major League players but never added many more accolades to their career resume.
Others have good enough statistics to be enshrined in Cooperstown, yet voters opted to keep them out because of scandals — like Mark McGwire’s alleged steroid use or Pete Rose being accused of illegal gambling on his own games. These are the scandals that rocked the sports world.