NEW YORK (AP) — The baseball Hall of Fame won’t have any new players in the class of 2021 after voters decided no one had the merits — on the field or off — for enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were the closest in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America released Tuesday, and the trio will have one more chance at election next year. It’s the first time the BBWAA didn’t choose anyone since 2013.
Schilling, a right-handed ace who won three World Series titles, finished 16 votes short of the 75% threshold necessary for enshrinement. He got 71.1% percent this time after coming up 20 votes shy at 70% last year.
Schilling’s on-field accomplishments face little dispute, but he has ostracized himself in retirement by directing hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, journalists and others.
“It’s all right, the game doesn’t owe me anything,” Schilling said during a live video stream on his Twitter account.
He later wrote on Facebook that he has asked the Hall of Fame to remove his name from next year’s ballot. Hall of Fame Board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement that the board “will consider the request at our next meeting.”
Bonds (61.8%) and Clemens (61.6%) made minimal gains and joined Schilling in falling short on their ninth tries. Both face suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use — Clemens has denied using PEDs and Bonds has denied knowingly using PEDs.
It’s the ninth time the BBWAA didn’t elect anyone and just the third time since 1971.
With the Hall of Fame’s Era Committees postponing their scheduled elections until next offseason because of the pandemic, there won’t be a new Hall class for the first time since 1960.
Cooperstown won’t be without celebration next summer, though. After the 2020 ceremony in the upstate New York village was canceled due to the pandemic, Yankees great Derek Jeter and five-tool star Larry Walker will take center stage on July 25, a year later than planned. They’ll be honored alongside catcher Ted Simmons and late players’ association chief Marvin Miller.