Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, the three most controversial names on the Hall of Fame ballot, didn’t get stamped into Cooperstown on Tuesday.
That’s not a surprise. Nobody was really expecting they would, not given what we know about their candidacies, their previous results and what was on the 55 percent of ballots that were made public. But they did take a step in the right direction.
Bonds and Clemens saw their vote totals improve again, while Schilling rebounded after taking a big dip in 2017.
• Bonds finished at 59.1 percent after last year’s 56.4 percent.
• Clemens earned 59.5 percent after 57.3 percent last year.
• Schilling rebounded in a big way, jumping from 51.2 percent in 2018 to 60.9 percent in 2019.
This was the seventh year on the ballot for each of them. They’ll have three more years to try to reach the necessary 75 percent to get into Cooperstown.
Here’s a look at their vote totals over the years:
With their current counts, they’re not quite on the doorstep waiting to get in next season, but they have made progress in recent years.
Generally speaking, if a player can reach 70 percent, there’s a good chance they reach 75 percent the following year. Given this year’s results, Bonds, Clemens and Schilling should get closer, though they would need stronger boosts moving forward.
If they can reach 70 percent next year, they’d be in line for inclusion in their ninth years on the ballot. If not, they could be lining up for the same final-year surge that got Edgar Martinez in this year.
But if they can’t reach it by 2022, then they’ll have to hope to get into the Hall of Fame by a veterans committee, which is how Harold Baines and Lee Smith were chosen this year.
That might even be a tougher crowd for Bonds and Clemens, as some Hall of Famers might be less forgiving about their connections to performance-enhancing drugs than baseball writers.
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More Hall of Fame coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Hall of Fame adds four: Rivera, Halladay, Martinez and Mussina
• Rivera becomes first-ever unanimous Hall selection
• Bonds, Clemens, Schilling make progress toward Cooperstown
• Jeter headlines star-studded 2020 ballot
• The phone rang for Halladay, one of the greats