Former Boston Red Sox Curt Schilling who failed election in to the MLB Hall of Fame on Tue Jan 26, 2021 namely because of his controversial political views requested to be taken off next year’s ballot and will try and get in in front of the Veteran Committee in 2022 (MassLive.com file photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The eligible members of the BBWAA (baseball writers association of America) did not select any player to the Hall of Fame this year. It was the first time since 1960 that they did not select a player. A player needs 75% of the vote to make it to the Hall. Players have ten years of eligibility. They can gain entrance later if selected by a committee of former players.
There were three players on the ballot that had the best chance of getting selected. They are pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens. The other player is Barry Bonds. All three are in the ninth year of eligibility.
Schilling received 71% of the vote. He has asked the people at the Hall of Fame to remove him from the ballot next year. He claims that he is willing to take his chances with the players’ committee. The Hall is considering his request. Many people think that Schilling didn’t get the 75% required for entrance due to his political views.
Schilling holds extreme right-wing positions. Many people were shocked that he allegedly made remarks supporting the people who attacked and vandalized the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
The Hall of Fame vote took place before the attack but might affect the vote later this year. The Hall of Fame is a museum. Many people in the Hall have character less than sterling. The Hall voters have to vote on the players’ performance. Is Schilling worthy enough to be in the Hall? He won 219 games in his career.
Schilling is a three-time World Champion. He won one with the Arizona Diamondbacks and two with the Boston Red Sox. His courage and fortitude on the mound can not be questioned. His performance in game six of the 2004 AL Championship series is legendary. He beat the Yankees to send the series to game seven. The Red Sox won that game and then beat the St Louis Cardinal to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years.
Roger Clemens won over 350 games with the Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros. He won seven Cy Young Awards as the best pitcher in the American League. His numbers should mean induction into the Hall.
The fly in the ointment is the claim that he, allegedly, used performance enhancing drugs. Clemens never failed a drug test. He received about 61 % of the vote last year and about the same this year. His chances of getting in next year are slim. He will have to wait until later.
Barry Bonds was one of the best hitters ever to put on a uniform to play baseball. Bonds won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award seven times. No other player in Major League history has won it more than three times.
Bonds holds the single-season record for most home runs with 73. He broke Henry Aaron’s record of 755 homers in a career in 2007. He finished his career with 762. Bonds, like Clemens, never failed a drug test. He, too, had to deal with accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
There may be people in the Hall that used steroids to help them hit or pitch. Many voters are not willing to vote for players that “cheated.” Some voters are willing to say that Clemens and Bonds using steroids during those years was not illegal.
Attendance at baseball games dropped after the player’s strike in 1994. The teams’ owners looked the other way when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa sent balls flying out of the parks in 1998. McGwire finished with 70, and Sosa had 66. Clemens and Bonds will have to wait. They have the numbers for entrance. Many people believe they should be included. Only time will tell.
Jerry Feitelberg is an Oakland A’s beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com