The National Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2021 is empty.
None of the 25 eligible candidates received the minimum of 75% of ballots cast to be elected, according to a news release from the Hall of Fame Tuesday. Of the 25, there were 11 new candidates and 14 returnees.
The last time the Baseball Writers’ Association of America didn’t vote in any players was in 2013, and this is also the first time since 1960 that there was no new hall of fame members in a single year, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s website.
Three of those names back on the ballot included Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling. All three have one year left of eligibility.
Schilling fell short 16 votes, leaving him with only 71.1% of the electorate. Bonds’ vote total was at 61.8%, and Clemens was at 61.6%.
In a long Facebook post-Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Schilling said he would not participate in the final year of voting. Included in his post was a letter to the Hall of Fame.
“I am requesting to be removed from the ballot,” his statement read.
While the career statistics of Bonds and Clemens rank among the best in baseball history, they were amassed during MLB’s so-called
“Steroid Era.” During the late 1990s and early 2000s, accusations and innuendo of performance-enhancing drug use swirled around many of the game’s brightest stars, including Bonds and Clemens.
Bonds is Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in home runs with 762 career homers for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants during his 22-year career. He was a 14-time All-Star and was named National League MVP seven times.
Roger Clemens racked up 354 wins and 4,672 strikeouts over his 24-year career with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Houston Astros. Clemens ranks third on MLB’s all-time strikeouts list and is ninth on the all-time wins list.
There will be no new electees to join the class of 2020’s Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, and Modern Era Committee selections Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller during the Hall’s Induction Ceremony on July 25 in Cooperstown, New York.
Their inductions scheduled for last summer were postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.