A year after electing nobody, the BBWA voted just one player—David Ortiz—into the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2022 class. But the reveal was just as notable for who didn't get in, with some of the game's most prolific players falling short in their final year of eligibility.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Curt Schilling all fell short of the 75% threshold for induction in what was their 10th year on the writers' ballot. Bonds came the closest of the four, falling 36 votes short of induction at 66.0%. Clemens was 39 votes short (65.2%), while Schilling appeared on 58.6% of ballots and Sosa received 18.5% of votes.
Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are all the symbolic faces of the steroids era, and that association with performance-enhancing drugs ultimately proved to be too much to overcome with the writers. Schilling, meanwhile, courted controversy after his retirement by sharing memes containing hate speech against Muslims, journalists and transgender people, the latter of which got him fired from ESPN. In his ballot, SI's Tom Verducci did not vote for any of them, though he did include Schilling, who asked to be taken off the ballot before his final year of eligibility.
The quartet's only means of induction now lie with the Hall's committee votes, and they could get another chance as soon as December of this year when the Today's Game Era Committee meets. Only 10 players will appear on that ballot, with a 75% vote needed from the 16-member committee.