Yesterday, three new players got the call from the baseball Hall of Fame, when Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez were voted in. The day after, however, all the talk is about two people who didn’t get in: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
These two men were clearly Hall of Fame players during their careers. Bonds is the all-time home run leader with 762. Clemens had 354 wins in his career, ranking him ninth in the history of baseball in victories.
However, because of questions about possible steroid use, both are still not in the Hall, after five years on the ballot. Bonds received 53.8% of the vote this year, while Clemens received 54.1% of the vote. This year’s numbers for Bonds and Clemens were the most they received in the five years since being on the ballot, but still nowhere near the 75% needed for enshrinement.
Both these men were elite players during the era where steroid use was reportedly rampant in the sport, making voting for the Hall almost impossible, because baseball writers, who vote on The Hall of Fame, have no way of really knowing who cheated and who didn’t during the late-90s and early 2000’s. The voters of the Hall of Fame should put Bonds and Clemens in the Hall the last year they are both eligible to be voted in by the writers, which would be in 2022, 5 years from now. Making two sure-fire Hall of Famer’s wait that long could show how much PED’s can affect your legacy.
In the end, the Hall of Fame is a museum that is there to tell the history of the sport of baseball. So to have no one from the steroid era in would be erasing too big a part of baseball history. This generation of players just might have to wait a little longer than their predecessors.