The Baseball Writers' Association of America turned heads on Monday by releasing the 2021 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. There were 11 new names joining the 14 holdovers from the 2020 iteration, but three names drew particular attention. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling headlined the list.
According to UPI, Schilling finished third behind Derek Jeter and Larry Walker last year, receiving 278 of 397 votes. These numbers gave him 70% of the vote, 20 votes shy of earning enshrinement. Clemens received 242 votes (61%) while Bonds had 241 (60.7%). These numbers fell shy of the required 75% for induction.
The all-time leader in home runs (762), Bonds also set the single-season record for homers with 73. He was a 14-time All-Star during his 22-year career but also faced allegations of steroid use. Bonds has remained out of the Hall of Fame and is running out of chances to hear his name.
"If they don't want me, just say you don't want me and be done with it," Bonds said about the Hall of Fame during an interview with The Athletic. "Just be done with it." Bonds will only be eligible for enshrinement for two more years. His name will be removed from the ballot following the 2022 vote.
Bonds never admitted to using steroids during his career. He reportedly told a grand jury that he used a substance that prosecutors say contain steroids. Federal prosecutors dropped the remaining charges against him in July 2015, ending a decades-long steroids case.
Similar to Bonds, Clemens faced allegations of steroid use in his career. He has vehemently denied using steroids during his career. "I've been accused of something I'm not guilty of. ... I've never taken steroids or HGH," Clemens said during a congressional investigation into the use of banned substances.
Unlike Bonds and Clemens, Schilling did not have steroid allegations. He instead sparked debates with his comments as an analyst and on social media. For example, he posted a meme comparing the percentage of extremists among Muslims and 1940s Germans. He has also made several comments in the past about the Clintons, Benghazi and the North Carolina "bathroom bill."
While Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling headline the list, 11 newcomers face slim odds to be inducted. The newcomers list includes Mark Buehrle, A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino and Barry Zito.
Voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame will be announced on Jan. 26, providing answers about some of the sport's biggest names and their legacies. If anyone receives the required 75% of the vote, they will be inducted on July 25 alongside Jeter and Walker. The two men were voted into the Hall of Fame in 2020 but had to wait one year for their ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.