For the eighth time in history, the Baseball Writers did not elect a single player to the Hall of Fame. It is the first time since 1996 that the BBWA did not elect a single player (the Veteran’s Committee selected four players that year).
Craig Biggio had the most votes, coming up 39 votes short of selection at 68.2% of the vote. Jack Morris was second, but did not see his vote total increase, and has one more year remaining on the ballot. Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, and Tim Raines rounded out the top five in voting.
The Steroid Era, and the BBWA’s current response and wrangling and moralizing over that, are the clear cause for no new Hall of Famers. Barry Bonds (36.2%) and Roger Clemens (37.6%) were in the first year on the ballot, and got some support, but were clearly left off many ballots.
I find the whole process a bit ridiculous. Writers get up to ten votes. I’ll never get the whole “first ballot” thing. Either a guy is a Hall of Famer or not. Vote for him if you think there are up to ten worthy candidates. I’ll never understand how the same writers can determine one to be Hall of Famer one year, after not thinking that before.
Enjoy the ceremonies in Cooperstown. Congratulations, BBWA, you are indeed the stars of the show, because no players will be there to take it away from you.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]