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Elephant Rumblings: No players elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021, and Curt Schilling objects

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Baltimore Orioles Vs. Boston Red Sox At Fenway Park Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The Baseball Hall of Fame announced its 2021 class on Tuesday, and ... nobody got elected. It’s the first time since 2013 that no player made the cut on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) ballot.

The closest candidate was Curt Schilling, who received 71.1% support but fell 16 votes shy of the 75% threshold. Still, that represented a slight increase over his showing last winter, and he has one more year of eligibility remaining. Nobody has ever gotten this close and not made it eventually.

However, if it’s up to Schilling, he won’t even bother with his 10th and final try in 2022. The former pitcher, who has become a polarizing figure who loudly expresses controversial opinions, requested to be removed from the ballot next year. The BBWAA has recommended that the Hall of Fame deny this request.

The rest of the voting, with percentages out of 401 ballots submitted:

  • Curt Schilling, 71.1%
  • Barry Bonds, 61.8%
  • Roger Clemens, 61.6%
  • Scott Rolen, 52.9%
  • Omar Vizquel, 49.1%
  • Billy Wagner, 46.4%
  • Todd Helton, 44.9%
  • Gary Sheffield, 40.6%
  • Andruw Jones, 33.9%
  • Jeff Kent, 32.4%
  • Manny Ramirez, 28.2%
  • Sammy Sosa, 17.0%
  • Andy Pettitte, 13.7%
  • Mark Buehrle, 11.0%
  • Torii Hunter, 9.5%
  • Bobby Abreu, 8.7%
  • Tim Hudson, 5.2%

Bonds and Clemens didn’t move much from last time, with one more year of eligibility remaining in 2022. The biggest gains were made by Rolen (up 17 percentage-points, on his 4th try), Wagner (up 15% on 6th try), Helton (up 15% on 3rd try), Sheffield (up 10% on 7th try), and Jones (up 14% on 4th try). Vizquel went down slightly in his 4th try.

Eight more players fell beneath the 5% cutoff for future qualification, and will be removed from the ballot next year: A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino, and Barry Zito. Only Ramirez (4), Hawkins (2), and Zito (1) got any votes at all.

For A’s fans, there were four key names to follow here. Hudson was the only one to clear the 5% cutoff to stay on the next ballot, one of only three first-timers to do so this year (along with Buehrle and Hunter). Haren, Swisher, and Zito will settle for the honor of just having been on the ballot at all, which only a tiny percentage of MLB players can say, and Zito at least managed to net one vote.

Normally, when the BBWAA doesn’t elect anybody, there’s still a chance of somebody being inducted via the Veteran’s Committee. However, the committee did not meet this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic, so no new players will enter the HOF at all in 2021 for the first time since 1960.

Looking ahead, the 2022 ballot will welcome notable newcomers including Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz.

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