For the first time since 1960, the membership of the National Baseball Hall of Fame will remain frozen.
No player on the Hall’s 2021 Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot reached the 75 percent threshold needed for enshrinement in Cooperstown. The results of the voting were announced by Hall of Fame president Tim Mead on MLB Network on Tuesday night.
The leading vote-getter was controversial pitcher Curt Schilling, who was named on 71.1 percent of the ballots, 16 votes shy of the minimum needed for selection. Schilling was followed by all-time home run leader Barry Bonds (61.8 percent) and 354-game winner Roger Clemens (61.6) in the voting.
All three former All-Stars were in their ninth year of eligibility on the ballot, leaving them one more chance next winter. Players get 10 shots at enshrinement via the writers’ voting before moving on to consideration by one of the Hall’s various era-based veterans committees.
The support for Bonds and Clemens has mostly plateaued in recent years as the writers’ positions on players associated with the steroid era have become largely entrenched at a level leaving them just shy of the threshold. Last year, Clemens was named on 61 percent of the ballots, while Bonds was at 60.7.
Schilling, on the other hand, had seen his vote share climb from 45 percent in 2017 to 70 percent last year. Historically, most players who reach the 70 percent level eventually garner enough support to land in Cooperstown. However, the backlash against Schilling’s public and social media comments appears to be limiting his support.
Among Schilling’s more controversial moments were a 2016 tweet, later deleted, in which he appeared to endorse the lynching of journalists. More recently, Schilling expressed support for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — though the writers’ ballots had been submitted prior to that date.
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