Two Little League® Graduates Named to 2024 National Baseball Hall of Fame Class

MLB Hall of Fame

The Baseball Hall of Fame will have two former Little Leaguers® earning their plaques in Cooperstown this July. Todd Helton, a graduate of Farragut Little League (Knoxville, Tenn.), and Joe Mauer, a graduate of Highland Parks Little League (St. Louis, Minn.), will earn the honor and be inducted as members of the Class of 2024.  

To be eligible for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame, players must be named on at least 75% of the ballots cast by eligible voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). After a total of 385 ballots were submitted in 2024, Mr. Helton will earn his bronze plaque in his sixth year on the ballot with 79.7%, and Mr. Mauer will be inducted as a first-time ballot nominee at 76.1%.  

Mr. Helton and Mr. Mauer will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 21, 2024, joining fellow inductee Adrian Belté in this year’s election class. With the addition of Mr. Helton and Mr. Mauer, there have been a total of 36 Little League® graduates to earn their bronze plaques in Cooperstown.  

Todd Helton – Farragut Little League (Knoxville, Tenn.)

After his days on the Little League fields, Mr. Helton continued his baseball career at the collegiate level at the University of Tennessee, where he received an athletic scholarship for both baseball and football. As a Tennessee Volunteer, Mr. Helton was awarded the Dick Howser Trophy, which recognizes the National Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, after his junior baseball season in 1995.  

As the eighth overall pick in the 1995 Major League Baseball draft by the Colorado Rockies, Mr. Helton made his MLB debut in August 1997. Mr. Helton spent the entirety of his professional career with the Rockies, where he was recognized as an MLB All-Star five times (2000-2004). Throughout his career, he was also awarded multiple MLB postseason awards including the Golden Glove Award three times (2001, 2002, 2004), the Silver Slugger Award (2000-2003), and the National League Hank Aaron Award (2000).  

Mr. Helton played his last professional game in September 2013. One year later, Mr. Helton’s number, 17, was retired by the Colorado Rockies, making him the first Rockies player to have his number retired in the team’s 26-year history.  


Joe Mauer – Highland Parks Little League (St. Louis, Minn.)  

Selected as the first overall pick in the 2001 MLB draft, Mr. Mauer made his MLB debut three years later in April 2004 for the Twins, where he would continue his professional career until his final game in September 2018.   

During his tenure with the Twins, Mr. Mauer received a multitude of recognitions including being named an MLB All-Star six times (2006, 2008-2010, 2012-2013), the American League MVP (2009), and the American League batting champion (2006, 2008-2009). Mr. Mauer also received the Gold Glove Award three years in a row (2008-2010) and the Silver Slugger Award five times (2006, 2008-2010, 2013). In 2019, the Twins retired Mr. Mauer’s jersey number.  

The 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame elections also marked the final year on the ballot for 1980 Little League® Baseball World Series (LLBWS) graduate Gary Sheffield, who was unable to make the necessary 75% needed for induction but did round out his final year on the ballot earning 63.9%.  

A graduate of Belmont Heights Little League (Tampa, Fla.), a program within the Little League Urban Initiative, Mr. Sheffield helped lead his 1980 team to victory in that year’s LLBWS U.S. Championship. Just two years later, Mr. Sheffield again represented his league in the 1982 Junior League Baseball World Series, winning the championship game.  

Gary Sheffield at the 2015 Little League Baseball World Series

Mr. Sheffield’s baseball career continued at the professional level, just eight years after his LLBWS appearance when he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers as the sixth pick in the first round of the 1986 MLB draft. After his MLB debut in 1988 for the Brewers, Mr. Sheffield played with eight different clubs, including the Florida Marlins when they won the MLB World Series championship in 1997.  

Mr. Sheffield is a nine-time MLB All-Star, a five-time recipient of the Silver Slugger Award, and the 1992 National League batting champion. In 2009, Mr. Sheffield retired from professional baseball. 

NOTE: If you know of a Little League graduate who is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, or notice any incorrect information, please complete the Little League Alumni Submission form at 

Little League Alumni