In what is widely being seen as a total rebuke to the “steroid era” of baseball, there were no players inducted to this year’s Major League Baseball Fall of Fame. Despite a field of eligible players that put up some of the most impressive statistics for the game, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, no player received the requisite number of votes to be inducted.
Although rare, it is not unheard of for there to be no players inducted into the Hall of Fame. The last time it happened was in 1996. However, this year’s donut hole of inductees is seen as different because of the clear issue with such star players as Bonds, Clemens and Sammy Sosa who easily have the stats but have been tarnished with allegations of steroid use throughout their careers.
A player must receive 75 percent of the voters, mostly sportswriters and former players, approval to be inducted. This year, the closest person to get in was Craig Biggio, a catcher and second baseman for the Houston Astros, who received 68 percent. In comparison, Bonds got only 36 percent and Clemens got only 37. Sosa only received a paltry 12 percent vote.
Evidently players have a much different viewpoint than sports writers when it comes to the issue of how steroid use should effect wether or not a plyer is inducted into the Hall of Fame. In speaking about his close-but-no-cigar vote for this years induction, Biggio also defended the star players who were snubbed this year for their respective steroid controversies, saying he’s have voted for them if he had the chance to.
“Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter that I’ve ever played against … and Roger was one of the greatest pitchers of all time,” Biggio said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I would have yes, I think those guys are Hall of Fame players. Barry and Roger, their numbers speak for themselves and what they did on a baseball field speaks for itself.”
It is unclear how future voters will see players like Clemens, Bonds and Sosa, but if precedence says anything about it, it doesn’t look good. For seven years, homerun hitter and admitted steroid user Mark McGwire has been kept out of the Hall of Fame. This year he got only 16 percent of the vote.