USUrt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were the players who received the most votes in the Baseball Columnists Association of America (ACBA), which was released on Tuesday. The trio will have one last chance to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame next year.
This is the first time since 2013 and the ninth time in history that no new members have been admitted.
Schilling, a caste that has won the World Series three times, rose to 16 votes from the 75% mark needed to enter Cooperstown. He had 71.1% of the vote after rising to 20 votes last year.
His achievements in the field are little disputed, but Schilling retired during his retirement by sending hateful comments to Muslims, transgender people, journalists and others.
“It’s okay, baseball owes me nothing,” Schilling said in a live video posted on his Twitter account. He then added on Facebook that he asked the Hall of Fame to remove his name from the ballot.
Bonds (61.8%) and Clemens (61.6%) joined Schilling in their ninth error on the ballot paper. Both players faced strong suspicions of doping, but Bonds was also charged with domestic violence and Clemens for maintaining a decade-long relationship with a singer who was 15 when they met.
Powerful hitters Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz will be added to the ballot next year. Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season after violating Major League Baseball’s anti-doping policy and collective bargaining agreement. Ortiz’s name was reportedly on a list of players who tested positive for illegal products in 2003.
Omar Vizquel, winner of 11 golden gloves, has fallen from 52.6% to 49.1% this year after his wife accused him of repeated domestic violence in December. Andruw Jones, arrested in 2012 for domestic violence, received 33.9% of the vote in his fourth year of election. Todd Helton, who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to two days in prison last year, received 44.9% of the vote in his third year.
Some players were not included due to arguments related to their game as well. Third baseman Scott Rolen jumped from 35.3% to 52.9% while stopping Billy Wagner jumped 31.7% to 46.4%.
While the Temple Veterans Committee has postponed its planned selection to the next offseason due to the pandemic, there will therefore be no players admitted to Cooperstown in 2021.
However, that does not mean that there will be no celebration next summer. Following the cancellation of the ceremony scheduled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and Montreal Expos alumnus Larry Walker will have a full seat on July 25. They will be introduced along with wide receiver Ted Simmons and former Players’ Association boss Marvin Miller.
ACBA members are invited to select Hall of Fame members “on the basis of their record, playing skills, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to their team (s)”.
At a time when social justice movements are pushing for a broader assessment of sexual misconduct and racial differences, character assessment has played a greater role in this election cycle. While the Hall of Fame already contains racists, cheaters and criminals, the current constituency – narrow, in many cases – has taken a stand on candidates who they believe lack sufficient integrity.
Voters recently voted overwhelmingly to remove the name and imprint of former Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis from the plaque awarded to the MVP. Landis became a commissioner in 1920, and there were no black players in major baseball for more than two decades under his watch.
Further in the results, outfielder Gary Sheffield received 40.6% of the votes in his seventh appearance on the ballot. Jeff Kent saw his name listed on 32.4% of them in his eighth year of qualifying. Mark Buehrle (11%), Torii Hunter (9.5%) and Tim Hudson (5.2%) just crossed the imaginary 5% voting line to stay on the ballot.
Aramis Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins and Barry Zito also received votes, but they were eliminated from future consideration.