Reds shortstop great Barry Larkin was inducted with 86.4 percent of the vote. Larkin is a 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger, 1995 NL MVP recipient and 1990 World Series Champion.
In what seemed like a never-ending saga, Ron Santo was finally voted in by the Veterans Committee by receiving 93.75 percent of the vote.
I’ve always believed Santo was intentionally kept from being elected. For about four years, I’ve told myself he would be elected once he passes on. Unfortunately, this was true. Santo wanted that day to come more than most would know. Sadly, he wasn’t around to rejoice in his achievement.
Nevertheless, Santo’s credentials consisted of nine All-Star selections and five Golden Glove awards. Santo is known as one of the greatest Chicago Cub players of all-time, as well as being regarded as one of the best third basemen ever.
In a nutshell, excluding my opinion, the 2012 Hall of Fame ceremonies were without controversy. But then there is next year….
The 2013 Hall of Fame ballot consists of prominent first-time players from the Steroid Era: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, and Curt Schilling.
This Hall of Fame class will have more controversy and speculation surrounding it than any other.
Questions have risen about how voters should handle voting next year.
The best solution given was to attempt to weed out the players that were Hall of Fame caliber before steroid use.
I happen to be a firm supporter of that. In fact, it has been my argument before the argument was brought to the attention of the general public.
If someone is a fan of the game, or even just a fan of stats, they could conclude Bonds and Clemens were deemed HOF worthy before the allegations began – assuming they know when the assumptions began.
However, voters will not take that into account, and understandably so, as cheating is cheating.
Fellow users Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro have been up for election and neither has garnered more than 25 percent of the vote.
The odds clearly aren’t great for either of these players.
To go along with the cloud of performance-enhancing use, Bonds has been nothing short of – putting it mildly – a butt-hole to the media, as well as to certain teammates. While his credentials are better than anyone else’s, he will find the most difficulty of being voted in.
Clemens’ situation with how the trial transpired and how he handled it irks people around.
Sosa is one of those players that was media-friendly, so he has that going for him, but he is a well-known corked bat user and every sports fan is aware of his steroid use. Combine this with the fact that Sosa expects to be inducted and he is basically showcasing his ego to the highest degree.
Piazza and Schilling have quietly been alleged to using performance-enhancing drugs. These two just weren’t quite on the pedestal that Bonds, Clemens, etc, were put on. Because of being under-the-radar per se, both could sneak their way in.
McGwire and Palmeiro’s chances aren’t increasing. McGwire hasn’t received 25 percent of the vote. Palmeiro hasn’t even received 15 percent of the vote. It will only get tougher.
Despite next year’s class being congested with deceivers, this only helps players like Craig Biggio, who played in that era and was clean while doing so. He just might benefit from this by becoming a first-ballot HOF.
Ladies and gentleman, I deem next year as the Ballot of Infamy. People thought the Steroid Era was done. It is finished on the field, but this voting process should mark the final phase of it. The final countdown starts now.