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Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens Passed Again for the Baseball Hall of Fame

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling were passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame committee, which selected former big league slugger Fred McGriff for Cooperstown on Sunday.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and have dropped support for Schilling after he made hateful remarks towards Muslims, transgender people, journalists and others.

McGriff, also known as “Crime Dog”, hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs in 19 seasons with six big league teams. The first baseman was a five-time All-Star and helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff, 59, received unanimous support from the 16 members of the Contemporary Baseball Era committee – which includes Hall members, officials and writers. This group included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut in 1986 with the Blue Jays.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but became ill and was replaced by Derrick Hall, president of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants No. 25 Retirement Ceremony
Former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds speaks at a ceremony to retire his #25 jersey at AT&T Park on August 11, 2018 in San Francisco, California.

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McGriff received 169 votes (39.8%) in 2019, his final year on the BBWAA ballot. They will now be inducted in Cooperstown on July 23, with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote to be announced on January 24.

The Contemporary Age Committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from the 1980s. A player needs 75% to get selected.

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s panel, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy completed the eight-member ballot.

Mattingly was closest to the election, with eight of the 12 votes needed. Schilling had seven and Murphy had six. no one else had more than three.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in their final chances with the BBWAA in January. Bond received 260 of the 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%), and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot in 2014 after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance, falling below the minimum 5% needed to remain. His high in 2012 was 72 votes (12.6%).

Bonds denies knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens says he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 after a positive test under the major league drug program.

Championship Series - New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros - Game One
Former Houston Astros and New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens throws out the first pitch before game one of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

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A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds holds the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354–184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes short with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216–146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in November 2003 in a trade with the Diamondbacks.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

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