The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the Hall of Fame class of 2018 Wednesday evening.
But the unveiling wasn’t cause for celebration for Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds – two of the game’s greatest players whose legacies have been tarnished by allegations of steroid use.
Despite their long and successful careers, neither Clemens nor Bonds will head to Cooperstown to be inducted into the hall of fame, receiving 57.3 and 56.4 percent of the vote, respectively. A 75 percent vote is needed for induction, and it was both players’ sixth year on the ballot.
Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman have all been announced as the 2018 class. Jones and Thome were both first-ballot selections, according to ESPN, while this was Guerrero’s and Hoffman’s second and third years on the ballot, respectively.
The group will be inducted July 29 in Cooperstown, New York, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idleson announced Wednesday evening.
Clemens, one of the dominant pitchers of the last half century, and Bonds, baseball’s all-time leader with 762 home runs, inched closer to induction last year but it remains to be seen if they will have enough support to be enshrined in Cooperstown in 2018.
Voters are given up to 10 total votes to disperse among the candidates. In 2017, Clemens and Bonds’ names appeared on over 50 percent of the ballots, which is just shy of the 75 percent needed for induction.
Ballots are officially kept secret, but in the age of social media, many voters have publicized their selections which allows fans such as Ryan Thibodaux to make accurate projections as to who will gain admission to Cooperstown.
Retired players can only be considered for 10 seasons, and with both Clemens and Bonds in their sixth year of eligibility, there is a chance they could be denied entry to Cooperstown by the BBWAA. (They could, however, be selected by the Veteran’s Committee in future years.