Former Blue Jay Fred McGriff elected to Hall of Fame; Bonds, Clemens left out again

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling were passed over by a Baseball Hall of Fame committee that elected former Big League slugger Fred McGriff to Cooperstown on Sunday.

It was the first time Bonds, Clemens and Schilling faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens were accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling plummeted after he made hateful remarks towards Muslims, transgender people, journalists and others.

McGriff, nicknamed the « Crime Dog, » hit .284 with 493 home runs and 1,550 RBIs in 19 seasons with six major league teams. The first baseman was a five-time All-Star and helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

The 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Committee – made up of Hall members, executives and writers. The group included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff at Atalanta, as well as Paul Beeston, who was an executive in Toronto when McGriff made his major league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another former Atlanta player, Chipper Jones, was supposed to serve on the committee, but fell ill and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall.

McGriff received 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. He will now be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with whoever is chosen in the writers’ vote, it was announced on July 24. January.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose career was primarily from 1980 onwards. A player needs 75% to be elected.

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell were also part of this year’s panel, which met in San Diego during Baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot.

Mattingly was the next closest to the election, with eight votes out of 12 required. Schilling had seven and Murphy had six. No one else had more than three.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling failed in January in their last chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 votes out of 394 (66 and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was kicked out of the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below 5 in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

Seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Clemens went 354-184 with an ERA of 3.12 and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan. Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 home runs.

Schilling lost 16 votes with 285 (71.1%) in the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the Contemporary Era committee, was Boston’s general manager when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade from the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

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