October 27, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Baseball writers elect no one to the Hall of Fame in 2021

For the second time in nine years, Hall of Fame voters pitched a shutout.

In 2013, the first year Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appeared on the ballot, baseball writers elected no one. In 2021, the next-to-last year Bonds and Clemens can appear on the ballot, baseball writers also elected no one.

Curt Schilling, not Bonds or Clemens, came the closest to Cooperstown. With 75% of the votes required for election, Schilling got 71.1%.

Schilling finished 16 votes shy of election. There were 14 blank ballots returned by the 401 voters.

Bonds received 61.8% and Clemens 61.6%, a slight increase from last season. Schilling got 70.0% last year.

Scott Rolen finished fourth, jumping from 35.3% last year to 52.9% this year.

Four other players received at least 40% of the vote: Omar Vizquel (49.1%), Billy Wagner (46.4%), Todd Helton (44.9%) and Gary Sheffield (40.6%).

David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez will appear on the ballot for the first time next year, with Bonds, Clemens and Schilling appearing for the last time. Players not elected after 10 years on the ballot are referred to a veterans’ committee for future consideration.

This year’s induction ceremony still will go on, but with last year’s inductees. The 2020 ceremony was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so Derek Jeter and Larry Walker — the winners of the 2020 election — will be inducted this summer, along with veterans’ committee selections Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons.

Bonds, the only seven-time most valuable player in major league history, and Clemens, the only seven-time Cy Young winner, both have been linked to repeated steroid use. The Hall of Fame asks voters from the Baseball Writers Assn. of America to consider “integrity, sportsmanship [and] character” but does provides no guidelines as to how to apply those criteria.

Bonds holds baseball’s most cherished record, as its all-time leader with 762 home runs. Hank Aaron, who hit 755, passed away last week. Aaron was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first appearance on the ballot, with 98% of the vote.

Editor’s note: The Times does not permit its writers to participate in voting for the Hall of Fame.