Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame; Bonds, Clemens fall short originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
In a historic day for baseball and its Hall of Fame, David Ortiz has gotten the call.
“Big Papi” was announced as the lone member of the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame class on Tuesday after receiving 77.9% of the vote, while Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens narrowly missed the cut in their 10th and final year on the ballot.
Ortiz enters Cooperstown as one of the most prolific designated hitters in MLB history. He is 17th on the all-time home runs list with 541 and 23rd in RBIs with 1,768. His hardware collection includes 10 All-Star nods, seven Silver Sluggers, three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox and a World Series MVP. Some of Big Papi's greatest achievements went beyond the box score, as his countless clutch hits and iconic speech in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings helped rally both the Red Sox and the city as a whole.
Ortiz, Bonds and Clemens were linked to steroids during their careers. Bonds denied that he knew any substances he took were performance-enhancing drugs, while Clemens denied in front of Congress that he ever took PEDs. Ortiz, on the other hand, was cited by the New York Times as being on a list of positive tests in 2003. Along with Ortiz denying that he used steroids, commissioner Rob Manfred and former union chief Michael Weiner also defended Ortiz with reasons for why it should not be considered a positive test.
Hall of Fame voters have come around since Bonds and Clemens first appeared on ballots nine years ago. During 2013 voting, Bonds (36.2%) and Clemens (37.6%) both had less than half of the 75% total necessary to enter the Hall. This year, 66% of BBWAA voters had Bonds on their ballots and 65.2% had Clemens.
Bonds is baseball’s home run king, hitting 762 long balls during his 22-year career for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. His trophy case is loaded with 14 All-Star selections, 12 Silver Sluggers, eight Gold Gloves, two batting titles and seven NL MVP Awards. Along with being the all-time home run leader, Bonds also has the most walks (2,258) and intentional walks drawn (688) and is sixth in RBIs (1,996).
Clemens was one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB history throughout his 24-year career. His seven Cy Young Awards are the most in history, earned alongside 11 All-Stars nods, the 1986 AL MVP Award and two World Series titles with the New York Yankees. He released a statement following Tuesday’s announcement:
Curt Schilling also missed the cut in his 10th year on the ballot. The pitcher played 20 years, was named an All-Star six times, won three World Series and was one of the best postseason starters in MLB history. Schilling joined ESPN after his playing days and was fired in 2016 after promoting offensive commentary on Twitter. In 2021, he wrote a letter to the Hall of Fame asking that he be left off the 2022 ballot. The Hall did not oblige him, and he drew 58.6% yes votes during this year’s voting.
Scott Rolen earned 63.2% of the vote and could be on track to make the Hall of Fame since he has five years of eligibility remaining. He played for four teams during his 17-year career, winning the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year Award with the Philadelphia Phillies and 2006 World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. At the plate, he hit .281 with 316 home runs and 1,287 RBIs while also mixing in a Silver Slugger Award. He was even better in the infield, winning eight Gold Glove Awards on his way to seven All-Star selections. This was his fifth year on the ballot.
Only two more players earned more than 50% of the vote. Todd Helton got 52% of the vote in his fourth year on the ballot, while Billy Wagner got 51% of the vote in his seventh year on the ballot. Andruw Jones (41.1%) and Gary Sheffield (40.6%) were the only other players over 40%.
The next-highest vote-getter was Alex Rodriguez, who picked up 34.3% in his first year on the ballot. Jimmy Rollins (9.4%) was the only other first-year-eligible player to receive over 5%, which is required to land a spot on the ensuing year’s ballot.
Sammy Sosa was the fourth former player in his 10th year of eligibility. The Chicago Cubs slugger, who was also connected to steroids, was voted yes on just 18.5% of ballots this year compared to 12.5% in 2013.
Joe Nathan, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Papelbon, Prince Fielder, A.J. Pierzynski, Carl Crawford and Jake Peavy all landed below 5% and will be removed from next year’s ballot.