The members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America withheld their blessings this year, electing not to vote anyone from MLB into the Baseball Hall of Fame (BHOF) in Cooperstown for 2021. This will be the first time since 1960 that the membership in the BHOF will remain frozen until next year.
No One Makes The Cut
Tim Mead, president of the MLB Hall of Fame, made the announcement on the MLB Network on Tuesday evening. In order to make it to Cooperstown after being nominated, which in itself is a great honor, a player must receive at least 75% of the votes cast. Coming out on top of the vote count this year, but not quite enough to win, was pitcher Curt Schilling, who garnered 71.1% of the votes, about 16 votes short of enshrinement in baseball’s greatest honor. Schilling was not happy about the results.
Curt Shilling was so bummed out that he wrote a long letter to the Hall of Fame committee, and to Facebook as well, asking that his name be withdrawn from consideration next year. Shilling wrote, “I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player. I don’t think I’m a hall of famer as I’ve often stated but if former players think I am then I’ll accept that with honor.”
Shilling was also involved in some unfortunate incidences while working as an analyst for ESPN when he attacked transgender people and started comparing Muslims to Nazis on social media. However, despite his request and his unfortunate outbursts, the BHOF board will leave him on next year, the final year of his eligibility.
Bonds Misses Again
Coming in second in the voting was Barry Bonds, who hit more home runs than anyone else in MLB history, but, fell into controversy early on for taking some sort of performance-enhancing drugs that were said to have been a factor in his amazing hitting spree. Bonds received a mere 61.8% of the ballots.
Then there was pitcher Roger Clemens receiving only 61.6% in the voting this year. Clemens only won 354 games during his carrier in MLB and many assumed that he had long since been enshrined in the Cooperstown gallery of heroes, but no.
All three of these guys, who are household names to any self-respecting baseball fans, were in their ninth and penultimate run at the Hall of Fame. A player can be nominated just ten times and, if he does not get in in ten, it’s all over for him and Cooperstown.
Pasts Come Back To Haunt Players
The cases for Bonds and Clemens, when actually out there playing baseball, are unquestioned by anyone who ever saw them play, even just on TV. Both men were topflight baseball players and it is most unfortunate that the issue of performance enhancing drugs ever even came up.
Bonds claims that he never knowingly took PEDs while Clemens maintains that he never took them at all. Still the doubt continues enough to have kept them both out of Cooperstown, where they both should already be comfortably in place, years ago.
Of course, the most famous of all the great players ostracized from Cooperstown is Pete Rose whose time finally ran out. Rose was as good a baseball player as any to ever played the game, but he loved to bet on baseball and, even though he swore that he never bet against his team, it was just too much for the members of the Baseball Writers Association. Pete Rose will forever be remembered as a great player who gambled his fame and reputation away, but who will never be in the Hall of Fame.