Baseball's Newest Hall of Fame Inductee is....Nobody!

Other Jan 26, 2021

The big winner in the Baseball Hall of Fame induction this year will be – nobody.

Except for the integrity of the game and a much-needed boost to the exclusivity of the great honor of being enshrined at Cooperstown, every potential nominee came up short in the annual voting held by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the BWAA revealed the much-anticipated 2021 Hall of Fame voting results.  Zero names appeared on at least 75 percent of this year's ballots that were cast.  What that means is -- no one will earn an induction through the traditional avenue.  

The 2021 class is an empty box.

And that's wonderful.

This abnormality really is a gift to the Hall of Fame and all the existing inductees, as well as to traditional baseball fans who understand there are no rubber stamps and easy routes to the game's highest honor.

Unlike the Pro Football Hall of Fame, presumably a similar benchmark of greatness which has become little more than a giant Walmart parking lot filled with retired football players, dozens of its inductees marginally qualified at best and many selections outright ridiculous being placed alongside those who were truly exceptional – no, unlike football – baseball actually got it right.

Getting into Cooperstown will mean something.

And, that's a good thing.

No doubt, this year's empty class won't be popular in some circles.  But it was the right outcome.  Three players received votes on more than 70 percent of the ballots that were disclosed – including Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds. However, none of them surpassed the 75-percent voting threshold reuired for induction.  In Clemens' and Bonds' cases, the reasons were obvious – the dark cloud of steriod use over their careers.  In Schilling's case, the outcome will be open to speculation.  Despite his off-the-field troubles and controversies, Schilling (like Clemens and Bonds) clearly had the numbers for inclusion.

He didn't take the news kindly:  Schilling pens letter to Hall of Fame after latest snub

Hence, 2021 will make the ninth time that baseball did not vote a player into the Hall of Fame.  This also happened in -- 1945, 1950, 1958, 1960, 1965, 1971, 1996, and 2013.  However, eight players on the 2013 ballot rejected that year were eventually voted in by the BBWAA.  So, there's a decent chance several players from the 2021 list will eventually make the cut.

Reportedly, Schilling ended up with the highest vote total of any player (71 percent).  He was just 16 votes shy of induction.  If Schilling, Bonds and Clemens are not voted in next year (which marks the 10-year window), their Hall of Fame fates and fortune will move on to the Eras Committees, which is sort of an old-timers group which meets every few years to consider players not voted in my the BBWAA.  One expects they'll get in someday.  But not soon.

Hello, Pete Rose.

Here are the full results from this year's ballot for players who earned at least five percent of the vote:

2021 Hall of Fame Voting Results


Curt Schilling   285   71.1%

Barry Bonds   248   61.8%

Roger Clemens   247   61.6%

Scott Rolen   212   52.9%

Omar Vizquel   197   49.1%

Billy Wagner   186   46.4%

Todd Helton   180   44.9%

Gary Sheffield   163   40.6%

Andruw Jones   136   33%

Jeff Kent   130   32.4%

Manny Ramirez   113   28.2%

Sammy Sosa   68   17.0%

Andy Pettite   55   13.7%

Mark Buehrle   44   11.0%

Torii Hunter   38   9.5%

Bobby Abreu   35   8.7%

Tim Hudson   21   5.2%

So, better luck next year!  

And congratulations to Major League Baseball and those who vote for making sure the game's highest honor, an induction, will mean something.  Those who get in, sooner or later, all will have earned it – fair and square.