Bonds, Clemens head Hall of Fame shutout

US Presswire

Barry Bonds (left) and Roger Clemens (right) fell short of induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America failed to elect a player to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There were 37 players on the ballot, including 24 first-timers.

Years With No Players Elected
Baseball Hall of Fame

Craig Biggio was the highest vote-getter in his first appearance on the ballot, getting 388 of the 569 votes (68.2 percent). He fell just 39 votes shy of induction.

Two-time MVP winner Dale Murphy, in his 15th and final year on the ballot, received just 18.6 percent of the votes. Five-time All-Star Jack Morris, who finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting five times and famously threw a 10-inning shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, received 67.7 percent of the vote in his 14th season. He must get at least 75 percent of the vote next year or he’ll drop off the ballot.

Seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, owner of 354 career wins, received just 37.6 percent of the votes, eighth-most among all players on this ballot. Among players voted on after retirement, only four members of the 300-win club received a lower percentage of the vote in their first year on the ballot than Clemens did this year.

Lowest Pct of Vote in 1st Year on Ballot
Members of 300-Win Club

Only two pitchers in major-league history -- Cy Young and Walter Johnson -- posted more Wins Above Replacement than Clemens. Young last pitched in 1911 and Johnson last appeared in 1927.

Just behind him on the ballot was seven-time MVP winner Barry Bonds, the all-time home run leader, with 36.2 percent of the vote. Like Clemens, only five members of the 500-HR club received a lower percentage of the vote in their first year on the ballot than Bonds, among players voted on after retirement.

While Bonds’ accomplishments may seem inflated given the era in which he played, when his production is neutralized and compared to players of other generations, his greatness holds up. Bonds’ 182 adjusted OPS is the third-best in major-league history, behind only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.

Lowest Pct of Vote in 1st Year on Ballot
Members of 500-HR Club

Bonds piled up 158.1 Wins Above Replacement in his career and Clemens accumulated 133.1.

Before this year, the most Wins Above Replacement by a player who didn’t make the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot was 91.9. That was Eddie Matthews’ career total and it took him until his fifth year to gain election.

Of the 37 players on the ballot, 17 will carry over to next year by receiving at least five percent of the vote (Murphy was in his 15th and final year on the ballot). But there will be more big names added to the next ballot, like 300-game winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and MVP winners Frank Thomas and Jeff Kent.