Shut out: Baseball Hall of Fame has no inductees for Class of 2021

Shut out: Baseball Hall of Fame has no inductees for Class of 2021
Induction ceremonies at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will be held July 25 in Cooperstown, New York. There will be no new members this year; last year's class will be inducted, since COVID-19 forced the postponement of the 2020 induction ceremony. (Barrie Fanton/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

No players were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, marking the first time in eight years that a player failed to collect 75% of the ballots cast by the BBWAA.

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The last time the BBWAA failed to elect a player into the Hall of Fame was 2013. Other years without an inductee over the past half-century include 1996 and 1971.

Curt Schilling, 54, came the closest to election. In balloting by the BBWAA, Schilling received 71.1% of the possible 396 votes cast, finishing with 285 votes -- 16 shy of induction.

Schilling, a six-time all-star, led the National League in wins with 22 for the Diamondbacks in 2001 and topped the American League in 2004 with 21 for the Red Sox. He has a career record of 216-146 and a 3.46 ERA. He has been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2013.

Ballots for the Hall of Fame were cast before Schilling’s tweet on Jan. 6, which showed apparent support for people who stormed the U.S. Capitol. According to the tweet, Schilling said that the crowd started “confrontation for (stuff) that matters.”

Home run champion and seven-time National League MVP Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens again failed to garner the 75% of the ballots needed for enshrinement. The two players, who have been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use during the latter stages of their careers, were both in their ninth year of eligibility.

Bonds had 248 votes (61.8%) and Clemens had 247 (61.6%). Third baseman Scott Rolen with 212 votes (52.9%), was the only other nominee to top 50%. This was Rolen’s fourth year on the ballot.

The Hall of Fame’s selection criteria notes that “voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

For Schilling, Bonds and Clemens, time is running out. Next year will be their final appearance on the BBWAA ballot. It is possible that down the road, they can be elected through the Veterans Committee.

Members of the Class of 2020 include Derek Jeter and Larry Walker, who were elected by the BBWAA. Others elected in 2020 included former baseball union leader Marvin Miller and catcher Ted Simmons, who were selected by the Veterans Committee.

Jeter got 396 of the 397 possible votes in the 2020 balloting, failing to join Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous choice in voting by the BBWAA.