The BBWAA failed to elect anybody to the Baseball Hall of Fame for this year. The Golden Days Committee and Early Baseball Committee both got postponed until December. That means zero inductees for this year, the first time that’s happened since 1960.
I’ve already written my opinion of the vets committees not being held, so I won’t reiterate it here. It’s a fait accompli.
The last time there was no BBWAA-selected players to induct, 2013, it hurt the Cooperstown economy. Induction week brings the town more money than any time other than Christmas. This year, no sweat—the pain was already experienced with the COVID-cancellation of the 2020 induction. The 2020 class will be inducted this summer instead. It will be huge as legions of Derek Jeter fans descend upon Cooperstown for his induction alongside Larry Walker and Ted Simmons. Marvin Miller will be inducted posthumously.
The closest player to the 75% of the vote threshold for selection was Curt Schilling at 71.1%. He had 70% last year, so it was a bit of a surprise he did not make it this time. However, his personality and Twitter-troll habits have made him very unpopular, and some voters clearly feel he fails the character clause. Maybe if he promised not to give a speech next year, then he might get more support. Actually, with typical “class,” he asked for his name to not be on the ballot next year, lashing out at the baseball media as a whole despite obviously having the support of a vast majority of writers for induction. His tirade include expressions of disrespect as well as calling the electorate cowards. Whatever. If on the ballot, next year is his 10th and final year prior to his case being forwarded to future vets committees.
Also on the ballot next year for the 10th and final time are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, two of the best players ever by any measure, They each garnered around 61% of the vote. We all know why they’re not getting elected, so no need to revisit that for now. I’ve often referred to the HoF’s decision to shorten the BBWAA-eligibility from 15 to 10 years as the Bonds/Clemens Rule. It wasn’t necessary, though. After the BBWAA culled out the inactive writers from the voting rolls, they got a big boost into the 50+% range, but have since only gained a few votes per year as older voters retire and not all the younger ones favor their election either.
The only other player appearing on over half the ballots was Scott Rolen, a good boost for him which likely portends well for a future induction.
The 2022 ballot will include Alex Rodriguez for the first time. That should be fun. Other notable first-time eligible players will include David Ortiz, Justin Morneau, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Texeira, and Joe Nathan. It will really be fun watching some folks’ heads explode as Ortiz sails in on the first ballot.