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For 3rd Time in 50 Years, a Rebuff From Baseball Hall of Fame

No new class this year, though Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens came closest in voting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2021 3:00 AM CST

(Newser) – The Baseball Hall of Fame won’t have any new players in the class of 2021 after voters decided no one had the merits—on the field or off—for enshrinement in Cooperstown on this year's ballot. Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens were the closest in voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America released Tuesday, and the trio will have one more chance at election next year. It's the first time the BBWAA hasn't chosen anyone since 2013, the AP notes. Schilling, who won three World Series titles, finished 16 votes short of the 75% threshold necessary for enshrinement. He got 71.1% this time after coming up 20 votes shy at 70% last year. Bonds (61.8%) and Clemens (61.6%) made minimal gains and joined Schilling in falling short on their ninth tries. It's the 19th time the BBWAA has failed to elect a Hall member and just the third time since 1971.

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At a time when social justice movements are pushing for a broader reckoning on sexual misconduct and racial inequality, character evaluation took on an outsize role in this election cycle. Schilling's on-field accomplishments face little dispute, but he has ostracized himself in retirement by directing hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, journalists, and others. Bonds and Clemens face suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use. Bonds also has been accused of domestic violence, and Clemens of maintaining a decade-long relationship with singer Mindy McCready, who was 15 when they met. "It's all right, the game doesn't owe me anything," Schilling said during a live video stream on his Twitter account. Schilling, Clemens, and Bonds will be joined on next year's ballot by sluggers Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. Schilling, however, wrote on Facebook that he has asked the Hall of Fame to remove his name from next year's ballot.

(Read more Baseball Hall of Fame stories.)

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