Big names on Baseball Hall ballot include Bonds, Sosa, Clemens

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was released Wednesday and it included a plethora of talent and three players whose careers are linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
Among the eligible candidates for the first time are career home-run leader Barry Bonds, power hitter Sammy Sosa and pitcher Roger Clemens. All three players were tied to steroid use at some point during their playing days.
Also appearing on the 37-player ballot this year are Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling and Mike Piazza.
Voting is conducted through December by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Resultes will be announced in January. Players need 75 percent of the vote to be inducted.
Biggio finished his 20-year career for the Houston Astros with 3,060 hits, which usually punches a player's ticket to the Hall. His career batting average was .281 in 2,780 games.
"It would be a very, very rewarding feeling if it was to happen," said Biggio, according to MLB.com. "I'll just cross my fingers and hopefully next year, come Jan. 9, I'll get a phone call."
Bonds not only has the career home-run record with 762 in 22 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, he holds the record for homers in a season with 73 and was a seven-time National League MVP.
"I gave to that game," Bonds said recently, via MLB.com. "I know how many games I played, how many years I put in, how many hours I put in, how much time I've worked, how hard I've worked and I am never, never, ever going to justify that part of my life. And it was a great part of my life."
In Clemens' 24-year career, he won 354 games, which is ninth on baseball's career list, and had 4,672 strikeouts, trailing only Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. Clemens also won the Cy Young Award seven times and was the American League MVP in 1986 while pitching for Boston.
Sosa spent a majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs and hit 66 homers in the epic power battle in 1998 when Mark McGwire belted a then-record 70. Sosa was named National League MVP that season.
Piazza, a 12-time All-Star, posted a career batting average of .308 and was considered one of the best hitting catchers of all time. He won Rookie of the Year honors with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993.
Schilling posted a regular-season record of 216-146 and had a 3.46 career ERA. In the postseason, he was 11-2 record and 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts, including 4-1 with a 2.07 ERA in seven World Series starts.
The other Hall candidates include Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker and Bernie Williams.
The Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for July 28 in Cooperstown, N.Y.