Baseball's Hall of Fame ballot has been released, and it is sure to generate a lot of discussion between now and Jan. 9, when the election results will be announced.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, arguably one of the three greatest hitters ever and one of the top 10 pitchers, are first-timers on the ballot along with former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, who is among the career leaders in home runs (609, eighth) and strikeouts (2306, third). They join holdovers Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire on the list of players who probably would be Hall of Famers if not for their ties to performance-enhancing drugs.
The other first-timers include Craig Biggio, who retired with 3,060 hits; Mike Piazza, the all-time leader for home runs by a catcher; Curt Schilling and Kenny Lofton.
The 14 holdovers on the ballot are led by Jack Morris, who finished only 48 votes short of election last year, receiving 66.7 percent of the ballot. Seventy-five percent is needed for election.
Jeff Bagwell and Lee Smith also received more than 50 percent of the vote a year ago, followed by Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff and Larry Walker. McGwire received only 19.5 percent of the vote, and Palmeiro received even less.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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