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No One Going Into Baseball Hall of Fame?

Hall of Fame
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Barry Bonds. The all-time home run king for major league baseball. Roger Clemons. The most dominant pitcher of a generation. Both are eligible for Baseball’s Hall of Fame voting going on today. Under normal circumstances, you’d be talking about them as near-unanimous choices. Yet during the steroids era, NEITHER are expected to be voted in this afternoon…and no one else is either.

Ex Minnesota Twin Jack Morris is in his 14th year of eligibility, yet is likely to fall short of the 75% needed to get in. As is ex Astro Craig Biggio who stuck around long enough to get 3000 hits (as did Rafael Palmeiro) but that’s not expected to pass muster with voters either. And what about arguably the best hitting catcher in history in Mike Piazza? Because he’s ‘rumored’ to have been linked with performance enhancing drugs, so he’s not getting in either.

Is it time to change voting practices? Change voters?? Or do we vote in all the steroids era players and just put them in one wing of the shrine? I completely understand that by baseball’s rules and standards, Bonds, Clemons, Mark McGwire and so many others, cheated. Yet I don’t think you can tell the true history of the game without including these players and many of their contemporaries. Vote them all in. Get Pete Rose in there. If you need to asterisk their plaques to sleep at night at keep your antiquated standards intact, fine. But baseball’s unwillingness to change with the times and that includes their Hall of Fame voting practices, is just a part of the reason it’s not America’s sport anymore…and may not even be in the top 5.

Here’s a link to see all the players being considered on this year’s Baseball Writers of America Hall of Fame Ballot.

And to update this morning’s story: For the first time since 1996, no players were elected to the Hall of Fame by baseball writers.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Sammy Sosa were among those who failed to achieve the 75 percent vote necessary for election.

Since 1965, the only years the writers didn’t elect a candidate were when Yogi Berra topped the 1971 vote by appearing on 67 percent of the ballots cast and when Phil Niekro headed the 1996 ballot at 68 percent. Both eventually made it to Cooperstown.

Player              Votes     Pct
Craig Biggio     388     68.2
Jack Morris      385     67.7
Jeff Bagwell     339     59.6
Mike Piazza     329     57.8
Tim Raines      297     52.2
Lee Smith        272     47.8
Curt Schilling   221     38.8
Roger Clemens 214     37.6
Barry Bonds     206     36.2
Edgar Martinez 204     35.9
Alan Trammell  191     33.6
Larry Walker     123     21.6
Fred McGriff     118     20.7
Dale Murphy     106     18.6
Mark McGwire     96     16.9
Don Mattingly     75     13.2
Sammy Sosa     71     12.5
Rafael Palmeiro 50     8.8
Others receiving votes: Bernie Williams, 19; Kenny Lofton, 18; Sandy Alomar Jr., 16; Julio Franco, 6; David Wells, 5; Steve Finley, 4; Shawn Green, 2; Aaron Sele, 1.

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