(NEW YORK) — For just the eighth time since voting began in 1936, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America did not elect anybody to the Hall of Fame.
Players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs during their career, like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, were shut down on their first time on the ballot. Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens garnered 37.6 percent, and Sosa got 12.5 percent.
Craig Biggio led all first balloters with 68.2 followed by Jack Morris with 67.7 percent. Next year will be Morris’ last chance to get in.
“The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the baseball writers. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”
Pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and slugger Frank Thomas will be eligible for the first time next year.
“Next year, I think you’ll have a rather large class and this year, for whatever reasons, you had a couple of guys come really close,” commissioner Bud Selig said at the owners’ meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz. “This is not to be voted to make sure that somebody gets in every year. It’s to be voted on to make sure that they’re deserving. I respect the writers as well as the Hall itself. This idea that this somehow diminishes the Hall of baseball is just ridiculous in my opinion.”
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Jill Martin, CNN