MLB: the Hall of Fame

Players in the context of the MLB Hall of Fame have come up short this year and, for the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America failed to elect a player to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There were 37 players on the ballot, according to the MLB betting news, including 24 first-timers, but not one of them made the cut.

This was the tale of woe for the players in the ballot – it was Craig Biggio, who spent 20 years at the Houston Astros, who headed the voting for the players, and was the highest vote-gatherer in his first appearance in the ballot getting 388 of the 569 votes (68.2 percent).

He fell just 39 votes shy of induction but that set the tone for the rest of the players in the ballot and there were some notable names that missed out. Two-time MVP winner, Dale Murphy, in his 15th and final year on the ballot, received just 18.6 percent of the votes.

Five-time All-Star, Jack Morris, who finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting five times and famously threw a 10-inning shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, received 67.7 percent of the vote in his 14th season. He must get at least 75 percent of the vote next year or he’ll drop off the ballot.

Roger Clemens, who won the Cy Young award on seven occasions, and is the owner of 354 career wins, received just 37.6 percent of the votes. This was just eighth among players on the ballot, and he will have to try again in future years.

However, rather like Barry Bonds, who was just behind him on the ballot, the connection to performance-enhancing drugs could keep him out. Seven-time MVP winner, Bonds, the all-time home run leader, gained 36.2 percent of the vote.

While Bonds’ accomplishments may seem inflated given the era in which he played, when his production is neutralized and compared to players of other generations, his greatness holds up but that still doesn’t mean that he gets a place in the Hall of Fame.

Probably the legitimacy of those numbers has fans betting MLB World Series doubting his candidacy and may do so in years to come.

Of the 37 players on the ballot, 17 will carry over to next year by receiving at least five percent of the vote (Murphy was in his 15th and final year on the ballot). There will be more big names added to the next ballot, like 300-game winners, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and MVP winners, Frank Thomas, and Jeff Kent.

For many of the players it is very much a case of having to try again next year, although some of them – Bonds and Clemens, in particular, may be carrying too much baggage to gain entry to the Hall of Fame.

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