From The Press Box
These “steroids era” players will probably fall short. Barry Bonds with an MLB record 762 home runs and 7 MVP Awards, Roger Clemens, with a record 7-Cy Young Awards, are the two first and then possibly Alex Rodríguez, who some time ago admitted to using PED’s and said it might cost him the Hall of Fame. David Ortíz is an interesting case, he also admitted to using PED’s years ago. Other interesting characters are Samuel “Sammy” Sosa, who said he “never tested positive for steroids” during his career and in 2005 he appeared in front of the US Congress House Committee on Government Reform together with Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro as well as some baseball executives.
But if you want to talk about it interesting, how about Curt Schilling, who a year ago asked to be removed from the 2022 HOF list, but was rejected and will remain on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time. About a year ago Schilling called the Baseball Writers Association of America a bunch of “spineless cowards”. Schilling was never connected to steroids use or any PED’s during his career, but his controversial twitters became a litmus test for most of those that opposed his point of view. If you are eligible you are eligible, it should only be about your baseball career. It is the Hall of Fame not the Hall of Saints and baseball should not bring Statues down, but built it for their heroes.
I do give a lot of credit to the BBWAA for rejecting Curt Schilling’s wishes to be removed from the ballot. If we go down that rabbit hole, we must also, never elect or maybe remove some that are already in Cooperstown. I am sure if research is done there will be found to be some very unsavory characters in the Hall. Such Hall of Fame luminaries like Roger Hornsby, a .358 lifetime hitter who batted over .400 three times, there were persistent rumors he was a member of the KKK. The great Ty Cobb, who by all accounts was a terrible human being who won a history-leading 12-batting titles, was an admitted racist. He is in Cooperstown. Cap Anson was widely reported by the media he was totally opposed to black players in baseball.
Back to the present. Some of the greatest sluggers in recent history who are tied to the use of PED’s, steroids and their home run totals: Barry Bonds 762, Alex Rodríguez 696, Sammy Sosa 609, Mark McGwire 583, Rafael Palmeiro 569, Manny Ramírez 555. Among the luminaries of the mound; Roger Clemens, a tremendous 24-year career ended with 354 wins, 3.12 earned run average, and 4,672 strikeouts, a 6-time 20+ game-winner. Clemens won a MLB record of 7 Cy Young Awards. I have a feeling a lot of ballots will be blank this year. However, if a BBWAA writer do not sends a ballot that means he/she is abdicating his responsibility. Each of the writers who vote can choose from 0 to 10 candidates. Last year no player reached the 75% minimum
Inductees from the era committee, elected last year: Six, Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Orestes (Minnie) Miñoso, and Gil Hodges are in already. Remote possibility they will add any others on this list.
There is a guy that played more games than anybody else, 3,562 and also lead everybody in history in hits with 4,256, was selected to 17 All Star Games, yet he is the first to be banned from baseball (1989), for life since 1943 as an investigation determined he bet on games with the Cincinnati Reds while he was the manager. Peter Edward Rose “Mr.Hustle”, is still waiting for a Commissioner who will Pardon him. Note: His violation was while he was managing, not as a player. But gambling has always been the “capital sin” in the game.
Each voting cycle, qualified members of the BBWAA name no more than 10 eligible players whom they consider worthy of Hall of Fame honors. To be enshrined, a player must be named on at least 75% of the voters’ ballots. Currently, players are removed from the ballot if they are named on fewer than 5% of ballots or have been on the ballot 10 times without election.