Every January, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) — in their role as Hall of Fame gatekeepers — pass judgment on eligible former players of the national past-time. If 75% of these god-like entities vote in the affirmative, then that player is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. This year, judgment will likely be especially harsh on several key players who are known to have used steroids during their playing days. Today's results are scheduled to be announced at 2 PM.
A player is eligible for the HOF six years after his retirement from the game. And so, for the first time, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, find themselves on the ballot. Other steroid users are on the ballot as well. For Mark McGwire, this is his seventh year of eligibility, and for Rafael Palmeiro, it's his third. McGwire and Palmeiro would have made it to the Hall by now were it not for their use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. Each finished his career with more than 500 home runs, with Palmeiro also notching more than 3,000 hits. In the past, either accomplishment was essentially an automatic ticket to the HOF — unless of course, a player got banned from baseball for betting on it.
Bonds, sadly, is the all time home run king with 762. He surpassed Hank Aaron's 755 in 2007. Clemens notched 354 wins and a 3.12 E.R.A. over a 24 year career, while Sosa slammed 609 homers, and is the only player to hit 60 or more home runs in three straight seasons.
None of them will be elected to the Hall today.
But who might? You can see the complete 2013 BBWAA ballot here. Front-runners include Jack Morris, Fred McGriff, Jeff Bagwell, and Larry Walker. Longtime Bagwell teammate Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits, might not get in, because many writers will no doubt have qualms about making the former Houston Astros second baseman a vaunted "first ballot Hall of Famer."
Unfortunately, the story today won't be about who got into the Hall of Fame, but rather who was left out of it.