Baseball Hall of Fame sees no new entrees for 2021

For the first time since 2013, no players were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, NY is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and inductees from 2020 will be the only ones to step to the podium this summer. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

In a year where the Baseball Hall of Fame could have had one of the most talked about classes ever, there is nothing further to talk about as 2021 will see no inductees enshrined into Cooperstown this summer. 

As a result, after a COVID-riddled year that saw the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony get cancelled last summer, Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker and former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will not celebrate the honour with any new inductees this July. 

For the better half of the last decade, Hall of Fame conversations have been dominated more so about the actions of candidates off the field than their performance on it. Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds received the three highest voting percentages in 2021, but none of them reached the 75 per cent threshold to officially become Hall of Famers.

In reaction to missing the cut for the ninth straight year, Schilling shared a letter on Facebook on Tuesday night outlining his desire to be removed from the ballot altogether. 

“I will not participate in the final year of voting,” Schilling wrote in a letter sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday. “I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player.”

Both Bonds and Clemens are infamous for their use of performance-enhancing drugs despite never officially testing positive. As for Schilling, his political comments have been viewed as controversial by many observers and a reason for his exclusion.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Schilling fell 16 votes short of being elected to Cooperstown, with 14 ballots left blank in this year’s voting cycle.

Next year is the final opportunity for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to elect Bonds or Clemens or their names will be removed. In that case, both former superstars could potentially join Schilling in having their Hall of Fame case be taken up by the Veterans Committee.

It is the first time since 2013 that nobody has been elected into Cooperstown, ironically the same year that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling were first eligible for induction.

Canadian will get his moment

One year ago, it was Walker that was announced as one of the names elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. An unprecedented year forced the former Colorado Rockies slugger to wait until the summer of 2021 to finally get his day and wear a Hall of Fame cap. 

The outfielder played from 1989-2005 with three different teams, including with the Montreal Expos. In 2020, Walker received 76.6 per cent of the vote, becoming only the second Canadian in history to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, joining pitcher Ferguson Jenkins.

With the announcement today, Walker will join Jeter, and Veteran Committee elects from 2020, Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, as the lone four to be honoured on one of baseball’s most important days. 

Hall of Fame Weekend 2021 will take place from July 23-26, with the induction ceremony scheduled for 25th. 

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Posted: Jan 26 2021 9:10 pm
Filed under: Baseball Sports