No living players will be inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame this year. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa were all denied the honor (likely due to their reported steroid use), the Hall and the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced today.
Voters were unable to decide on a host of athletes to enter into the Hall of Fame, with Clemens grabbing 37.6 percent of the vote, followed by Bonds at 36.2 percent, and Sosa with 12.5 percent.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Craig Biggio came closest to election, getting 68.2% of the vote and falling 39 votes short. With 569 members of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America returning ballots, 427 votes were required to meet the 75% standard for election.
This is only the eighth time since 1936 that no player has been elected by the baseball writers.
Former Detroit Tigers ace Jack Morris was second in the balloting with 67.7%. Jeff Bagwell got 59.6%, followed by Mike Piazza at 57.8% and Tim Raines at 52.2%.
Given his record as the only player in baseball to be named MVP seven times, Bonds not being recognized is a huge blow to a career that has been tainted by allegations of steroid use. “It is unimaginable that the best player to ever play the game would not be a unanimous first-ballot selection,” Bonds agent, Jeff Borris said.
“The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936,” said“ We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the baseball writers. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”
The lack of a nominee means that for the first time in more than 4o years the Hall of Fame will hold a ceremony—scheduled for July 28— honoring players, all of whom have been dead for over 70 years.