From the Braintrust: Clemens and Bonds Worthy of HOF Nod

Cooperstown,NY (OnFocus) – When the Baseball Writer’s Association members cast their 2021 Hall of Fame ballots, they have a list of 25 players to select from. 11 first-time candidates are on the ballot, along with 14 returning players from previous years.

Baseball writers aren’t a group that is known collectively as using numbers and data to drive their ballot decisions. Too many players have been left out of the Hall of Fame because writers thought it was their obligation to use moral judgements, instead of determining the best baseball players, period.

A list that includes Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pete Rose and Mark McGwire have been denied the chance to earn hall entry, and for the last 9 years, the writers have shown they’re not getting much smarter.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are unquestionably among the greatest players of all time, but for the past 9 years, only 60% of the voting writers included the pair on their ballots. This is the final year on the regular ballot for the pair before they are relegated to consideration by the veteran’s committee.

Writers not voting for Clemens and Bonds like to argue that each used steroids and shouldn’t be in the hall.  Any writers that think Bonds and Clemens were only great players because of steroids aren’t  deserving of their credentials, in the Braintrust’s opinion.

The Hall of Fame is an institution that honors baseball’s great, simple as that.

Also returning to the ballot this year is Curt Schilling, who narrowly missed out last year. Does Schilling deserve entry? Perhaps, but if he gets in without Clemens and Bonds, the Hall will have missed out on honoring greatness.

Braintrust’s Hall of Fame Ballot


  • Roger Clemens
  • Barry Bonds

Not quite

  •  Curt Schilling
  • Omar Vizquel

Maybe another year – all of the first year candidates – none are deserving in their first year eligible.

Complete background on HOF candidates HERE

 First Year Candidates

Mark Buehrle, A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino and Barry Zito.

Returning Candidates

NAME, YEAR ON BALLOT (2020 vote total, percentage)

Curt Schilling, 9th (278, 70.0%)
Roger Clemens, 9th (242, 61.0%)
Barry Bonds, 9th (241, 60.7%)
Omar Vizquel, 4th (209, 52.6%)
Scott Rolen, 4th (140, 35.3%)
Billy Wagner, 6th (126, 31.7%)
Gary Sheffield, 7th (121, 30.5%)
Todd Helton, 3rd (116, 29.2%)
Manny Ramirez, 5th (112, 28.2%)
Jeff Kent, 8th (109, 27.5%)
Andruw Jones, 4th (77, 19.4%)
Sammy Sosa, 9th (55, 13.9%)
Andy Pettitte, 3rd (45, 11.3%)
Bobby Abreu, 2nd (22, 5.5%)

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]