For the first time since 1996, not a single player was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Considering that the class of 2013 featured one of the most star-studded ballots of all-time, you would have at least expected one superstar to make the cut.
But that wasn’t the case.
The all-time leader in home runs? Denied. The seven-time CY Young winner? Denied. And the first man to hit 70 home runs in a single season? Also denied.
I get it. Each one of these players was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. It’s an awful way to earn recognition, but even with all the steroid scandals that surrounded some of these guys, there is no denying how talented and meaningful these players truly were to the sport of baseball.
Bonds had more career homers than Babe Ruth. Clemens had more strikeouts than Cy Young himself. And McGwire had a more impressive season than Ted Williams’ miracle year of batting .406.
Something’s gotta give.
It might be time to change some of the rules in voting for Hall of Famers. As it currently stands, a player needs 75 percent of the votes to get in. This year, Craig Biggio, though not associated with steroids, was the closest with only 68.2 percent. Clemens came in eighth with just over 37 percent of the votes. Bonds came in ninth and McGwire was 15th.
Either lower the percentage or change some of the criteria to get in. Personally, I think if a player hits over 600 career homers, he should be an automatic pick. As far as pitching, winning multiple Cy Young awards should cut it. If that still doesn’t do it, then how about striking out over 4,000 batters? Clemens did all of that with no problem.
If it’s a question of controversy, then why did the Hall of Fame induct other controversial players such as Cap Anson and Ty Cobb? Why rule out stars like Bonds, McGwire and Clemens?
It’s time for a change. Despite their controversy, these three men should make it to Cooperstown.