Hall of Fame says ‘no’ to Bonds, Clemens, Sosa
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org January 9, 2013 1:01PM
Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa did not receive enough votes for induction into Baseball's Hall of Fame. | Getty Images
HALL OF FAME VOTING
569 votes cast, 427 needed
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%).
By receiving fewer than 29 votes (less than 5 percent), Bernie Williams 19 (3.3%), Kenny Lofton 18 (3.2%), Sandy Alomar Jr. 16 (2.8%), Julio Franco 6 (1.1%), David Wells 5 (0.9%), Steve Finley 4 (0.7%), Shawn Green 2 (0.4%), Aaron Sele 1 (0.2%), Jeff Cirillo 0, Royce Clayton 0, Jeff Conine 0, Roberto Hernandez 0, Ryan Klesko 0, Jose Mesa 0, Reggie Sanders 0, Mike Stanton 0, Todd Walker 0, Rondell White 0 and Woody Williams 0 are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA.
Updated: January 9, 2013 2:58PM
Baseball Hall of Fame’s first steroid-era vote went like this on Wednesday: Barry Bonds, no; Roger Clemens, no; and Sammy Sosa, no.
In fact, no one was elected for only the eighth time in Cooperstown history.
The closest was former Houston infielder Craig Biggio, but his 68 percent of the vote was short of the required 75 percent requirement.
The ballot included 37 players, including 24 newly eligible candidates. But most were from what has come to be known as the Steroid Era of the game, when performance-enhancing drugs were believed to be in widespread use among a majority of players.
Steroid use was not banned at the time, but public criticisms, as well as concerns among a growing number of players, led to Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Assn. agreeing to include drug testing in the game, with strict suspension penalties.
Hall voting is done by members of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America with at least 10 years of service. Only general guidelines exist for election, including a rule added in 1945 on ``character, integrity and sportsmanship’’ applying to how the game was played on the field more so than off the field conduct.
After Biggio, the next closest candidates were pitcher Jack Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent), Mike Piazza (57.8 percent), Tim Raines (52.2 percent), Lee Smith (47.8 percent) and Curt Schilling (38.8 percent).
Of the most prominent new names on the ballot, Clemens and Bonds—both who went through public legal actions involved alleged steroid use—received 37.6 percent and 36.2 percent respectively.
Sosa received only 12.5 percent of the 569 votes cast.
Before Wednesday’s announcement, the Hall of Fame class of 2013 already included three new members selected by the Pre-Integration Era committee. They are player Deacon White, who played in the 1800s, umpire Hank O’Day and former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert.
The late Tom Cheek, who was a broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays, will be give the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball while sportswriter Paul Hagen of MLB.com will be presented the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for sportswriting.
Hall of Fame and Museum president Jeff Idelson acknowledged before Wednesday’s announcement that this year’s ballot generated more than the usual debate.
``Earning Hall of Fame election remains the game’s highest honor, a process that is defined as a snapshot in time, with every candidate eligible for up to 15 years, as long as he earns votes on five percent of ballots annually,’’ he said.
In the past, players were considered a ``lock’’ for the Hall if they achieved 500 home runs, 3,000 hits or, for pitchers, 300 victories. In that category would be Bonds (all time record of 762 home runs), Sosa (609 homers) and Clemens (354 wins).
But some who have achieved those numbers already have been denied election, including Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro.
The Hall induction will take place July 28 in Cooperstown, NY.