No news is news. No player on the ballot received enough votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The announcement was made Wednesday by Hall president Jeff Idelson.
That means for the first time in 53 years, there will be no living inductees at this summer’s baseball Hall of Fame ceremony.
To be elected, a player must be named on 75 percent of the ballots cast. Former Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio came the closest as he was named on 68.2 percent of the ballots, 39 votes shy of induction. There were 569 ballots cast.
In December, the pre-Integration Era Committee voted 19th Century catcher/third baseman Deacon White, former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and former umpire Hank O’Day into the Hall.
All three died in the 1930s, so the July 28 Hall of Fame ceremony will be the first since 1960 without a living inductee. The last time no one was elected by the BBWAA was 1996, when the Veterans Committee chose former Orioles manager Earl Weaver and pitching great Jim Bunning for enshrinement.
But this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will be noteworthy for those living ex-players who won’t be in Cooperstown in July. Barry Bonds, who hit the most home runs in baseball history (762), Roger Clemens (seven Cy Young awards) and Sammy Sosa (660 career homers) all were first-timers who missed out.
Rafael Palmeiro (3,020 hits, 569 homers) and Mark McGwire (583 homers) also missed out. All five players have been linked to steroid use.
None was close to making the cut. Clemens was named on 37.6 percent of the vote, while Bonds received 36.3 percent. McGwire got 16.9 percent, Sosa received 12.5 percent and Palmeiro got 8.8 percent.
Jack Morris received the second-most votes as he was named on 67.7 percent of the ballots. Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent), Mike Piazza (57.8 percent) and Tim Raines (52.2 percent) round out the top five.
569 votes cast, 427 needed
Craig Biggio 388 (68.2), Jack Morris 385 (67.7%), Jeff Bagwell 339 (59.6%), Mike Piazza 329 (57.8%), Tim Raines 297 (52.2%), Lee Smith 272 (47.8%), Curt Schilling 221 (38.8%), Roger Clemens 214 (37.6%), Barry Bonds 206 (36.2%), Edgar Martinez 204 (35.9%), Alan Trammell 191 (33.6%), Larry Walker 123 (21.6%), Fred McGriff 118 (20.7%), Dale Murphy 106 (18.6%), Mark McGwire 96 (16.9%), Don Mattingly 75 (13.2%), Sammy Sosa 71 (12.5%), Rafael Palmeiro 50 (8.8%).
By receiving fewer than 29 votes (less than 5 percent), Bernie Williams 19 (3.3, Kenny Lofton 18 (3.2%), Sandy Alomar Jr. 16 (2.8%), Julio Franco 6 (1.1%), David Wells 5 (0.9%), Steve Finley 4 (0.7%), Shawn Green 2 (0.4%), Aaron Sele 1 (0.2%), Jeff Cirillo 0, Royce Clayton 0, Jeff Conine 0, Roberto Hernandez 0, Ryan Klesko 0, Jose Mesa 0, Reggie Sanders 0, Mike Stanton 0, Todd Walker 0, Rondell White 0 and Woody Williams 0 are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA.