All-time greats Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds will be on the 2020 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, election results announced on Monday revealed.
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Jason Giambi, Curt Schilling, and Jack Morris will also be on the ballot for the first time. Martinez will be eligible for induction for the first time since he retired in 2011. Each year the Baseball Writers’ Association of America receives more than 3,000 ballots – some names will remain on the ballot each year until they are elected.
The Hall of Fame has a vote threshold of 75% to get elected. If any name falls below 50% that person can be removed from the ballot in five years. A maximum of 15 candidates is on the ballot in any given year.
There are 14 Cooperstown-bound candidates this year. Martinez was arguably the most dominant pitcher of his generation and won 303 games, including four no-hitters, in 17 seasons. His 18 All-Star selections are second all-time to Mike Mussina’s 18.
Clemens also won 354 games in 22 seasons, but he has been dogged by claims of performance-enhancing drug use. According to the New York Times, Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee said he injected Clemens, among others, with steroids, and that Clemens admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs to Mike Ditka.
Bonds won a record seven MVP awards and struck out 762 times in a 23-year career. He was accused of steroid use by former trainer Greg Anderson in testimony before a federal grand jury in November 2005 but has always denied it. The home run king is also a candidate for the first time on the writers’ ballot.
Giambi has a career .296 batting average, 373 home runs and 1,278 RBIs. He appears to be in line for election after receiving about 57% of the vote last year. Schilling won 226 games and pitched a no-hitter. Morris led the National League in wins seven times.
Morris receives high marks for his gritty performances and stoic demeanour. He was hurt by a perceived bias toward left-handed pitchers.
Another possible first-timer is New York Yankees reliever Randy Choate.
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There are 486 ballot names this year, along with former commissioner Bud Selig and four writers who have died since last year’s ballot. There was some concern about Johnson’s positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, which left his career PED-free. Still, he won seven Cy Young awards.
Others who might be in contention are Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, Edgar Renteria, Lee Smith, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, Don Mattingly, Curt Schilling, Curt Schilling, Jack Morris and Randy Johnson.
There are 18 players on the ballot who were on the initial ballot, and nearly half of them were elected in their first year of eligibility. With 68% of the vote for Martinez and Clemens last year, candidates need to receive 60% for election.
Seventeen players received at least 13% of the vote last year, with all but Verlander falling below 75%. Last month, voters said steroid rumors impacted their decisions.
The ballot is determined by ballot numbers with the top 25 vote-getters qualifying for the writers’ vote. For example, a person who votes for four writers as the 25th or next highest vote-getter must then choose from the other 15 voters.