No players were elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA, the first time since 1996 that has happened and the eighth time in history.
Craig Biggio came the closest with 388 of the 569 ballots cast. His 68.2 percent fell short of the 75 percent needed. Five blank ballots were submitted.
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling received 38.8 percent, finishing seventh in the voting behind Biggio, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, and Lee Smith.
“If there was ever a ballot and a year to make a statement about what we didn’t do as players — which is we didn’t actively push to get the game clean — this is it,” Schilling said on ESPN.
“Perception in our world is absolutely reality. Everybody is linked to it. You either are a suspected user or you’re somebody who didn’t actively do anything to stop it. You’re one or the other if you were a player in this generation.
“Unfortunately I fall into the category of one of the players that didn’t do anything to stop it. As a player rep and a member of the association, we had the ability to do it and we looked the other way, just like the media did, just like the ownership did, just like the fans did. And now this is part of the price that we’re paying.”
Barry Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Roger Clemens 37.6, and Sammy Sosa 12.5. All three have been tied to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens released a statement on Twitter that said:
“After what has been written and said over the last few years I’m not overly surprised. Thanks to the teams I’ve worked with and to fans and friends for all the fantastic letters, voice mails, and texts of support over the last few years. To those who did take the time to look at the facts … we very much appreciate it.”
The complete results are on the bbwaa.com.
“The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”
Major League Baseball also released a statement.
“Major League Baseball recognizes that election to the Hall of Fame is our game’s most extraordinary individual honor,” it said. “Achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be, and there have been seven other years when no one was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the longstanding process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA, whose members have voted in the Hall of Fame’s elections since 1936.”
MLB Players Association director Michael Weiner had a different view.
“Today’s news that those members of the BBWAA afforded the privilege of casting ballots failed to elect even a single player to the Hall of Fame is unfortunate, if not sad,” he said. “Those empowered to help the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum document the history of the game failed to recognize the contributions of several Hall of Fame-worthy players. To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example, is hard to justify. Moreover, to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair. The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the best players to have ever played the game. Several such players were denied access to the Hall today. Hopefully, this will be rectified by future voting.”