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Baseball writers fail to elect any players to the Hall of Fame in 2021

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The vote didn’t go so well with the Pinstripe Alley community, either.

Roger Clemens, left, a former pitcher with the New York Yank Photo by Craig Hartley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the second time in the past decade, the BBWAA has collectively decided that none of the 25 players on the Hall of Fame ballot are worthy of induction. The results of the voting were released just a few minutes ago on MLB Network, and no one reached the 75-percent threshold needed to lock in a plaque in Cooperstown. The planned ceremonies this summer will thus only be honoring the 2020 class (Derek Jeter and company), whose official enshrinement was delayed by the pandemic.

Given the pre-election ballot reveals tracked by Ryan Thibodaux, this result is hardly a surprise, as no one consistently stayed above the 75-percent threshold and percentages almost always sink after private ballots are factored in. Curt Schilling came the closest at 71.1 percent, but couldn’t make enough headway on his 70-percent turnout last year.* Former Yankees ace Roger Clemens and fellow controversial superstar Barry Bonds took a very slight step ahead of their 2020 voting results, though they remain long shots for induction entering their final year on the ballot in 2022.

*That outcome might partially have to do with his clown show social media posts denying COVID’s effects as thousands died while also supporting literal attacks on journalists, but what do I know? In a post-election letter to the Hall of Fame, Schilling requested to be removed from the ballot in 2022, and to that I say, “Good riddance.”

Notable gains were made by Scott Rolen (52.9 percent), Billy Wagner (46.4 percent), Todd Helton (44.9 percent), Gary Sheffield (40.6 percent), and Andruw Jones (33.9 percent), as they continued their possible marches to eventual enshrinement. The clock is ticking loudest for the former Yankees slugger Sheffield, though, as only has three years of eligibility remaining.

Of the new players on the ballot in 2021, only outfielder Torii Hunter (9.5 percent) and pitchers Mark Buehrle (11 percent) and Tim Hudson (5.2 percent) qualified to remain under consideration in 2022. Former Yankee Bobby Abreu (8.7 percent) just squeaked by in his second year on the ballot, as well. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz will lead the first-time nominees in 2022.

As a point of interest for Yankees fans, Andy Pettitte did a little better (13.7 percent) this time around than his 11.3-percent showing in 2020, but he still has a long, long way to go. Some future form of the Veterans Committee might represent his best shot for induction.

The Pinstripe Alley community Hall of Fame vote concluded an hour ago, and as it turns out, the fans couldn’t come to a consensus on any Hall of Famers either:

Clemens fared the best of all 25 players, but even he couldn’t even come within 10 percent of induction on this fake ballot. Although Pettitte had a favorable crowd here among many Yankees fans, almost half of them did not include him. This view seems to jibe with the general consensus of Pettitte’s standing — an iconic Yankee, but like Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada before him, maybe not a Hall of Famer.

Here’s a sample of some of the comments from the participants:

  • “Bonds and Clemens were Hall of Famers before steroid use” - born in the Bronx (Bonds and Clemens were included on his ballot)
  • “Players from the steroid era have to get in.” - Respondent No. 58
  • “Would’ve voted for Schilling if not for, um, his Schillingness” - Respondent No. 2
  • “Thought about Bonds and Clemens, but still think PEDs cannot be ignored.” - Respondent No. 133
  • “Starting Pitchers have been severely underappreciated in the steroid era. So, I felt Pettitte and Buehrle both deserve to be in the HOF. I also decided to forgive the steroid users before the testing regime went into play. Since Manny got caught twice after testing, I left him off my ballot.” - BBWC Fan
  • “I want to vote for Pettitte. I want to. But I can’t, in good conscience, say he’s a worthy HOFer.” - Respondent No. 134

If you’re interested in how the PSA staff would have voted on the Hall, read my post from yesterday. Spoiler alert: we inducted six more players than the BBWAA and don’t really have any regrets about it.