The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) Hall of Fame voting results were officially released on Tuesday. No eligible players reached the necessary 75% threshold to be inducted this season, which means former SF Giants stars Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent will have to wait at least another year to be inducted. Bonds and Kent did marginally improve their standing relative to last year. Kent received 32.4% of votes compared to 27.5%, while Bonds received 61.8% of votes compared to 60.7% in 2020.
The news is not particularly surprising. Early returns showed Bonds, Kent, and many others trending well behind the vote tallies they needed to be inducted. Omar Vizquel, another former Giants player eligible, had been gaining momentum. However, his support rightfully waned once a report revealed strong evidence that he had been abusive towards his ex-wife. He received 49.1% of votes this season compared to 52.6% last year.
Bonds was the best player in baseball over his career and very well could be the best player of all time. Of course, his connections to BALCO and the epidemic of performance-enhancing drug use throughout his mid-30s has led to his omission from enough Hall of Fame voters’ ballots to keep him out of Cooperstown. With just one more year of eligibility remaining, his time is running out.
No players, including former SF Giants, inducted into Hall of Fame.
On the other hand, Kent has never been directly connected to PED use and remains one of the most prolific second basemen of all-time. However, limited defensively and buried statistically by many of his peers playing in the steroid era, he has struggled to get any traction. In his second to last year on the ballot in 2022, Kent will have to make huge strides in the next two cycles. His struggles to clear even 40% are incredibly low given his obvious Hall of Fame case.
The Hall of Fame and Baseball Writers Association of America has lost a lot of respect from many over their handling of the museum’s decisions. Though, for many players, a BBWAA Hall of Fame selection remains the pinnacle of their baseball careers. Perhaps, with so many issues coming to the surface, writers alongside the hall may consider radical changes to the process. Granted, that’s probably giving too much creative credit to the group that has made this problem in the first place.