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Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling headline the eight-player Contemporary Baseball Era Players ballot to be considered for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame announced the ballot on Monday.

In addition to Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling, the ballot also includes Rafael Palmerio, Albert Belle, Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, and Fred McGriff. All these players were previously considered by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for election, but none was named on at least 75 percent of ballots, which is the threshold necessary for election. 

The 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee will cast their ballots on Dec. 4, and any of these eight players who are named on at least 75 percent – or 12 – of these ballots will join the upcoming 2023 Hall of Fame class. 

All of these eight players have variously compelling cases when it comes to their career statistics. In many cases, however, controversy likely prevented the players in question from being elected previously. Three players – Bonds, Clemens, and Palmeiro – are widely suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs during their playing careers, and this led to many BBWAA voters leaning on what's informally known as the "character clause" in the ballot instructions to justify no supporting their candidacies. 

In Schilling's case, his incendiary rhetoric – including social media posts favoring Nazis, Islamophobia, and lynching journalists, as well as uncomfortable comments about children – has cost him support in past elections. Schilling prior to his final appearance on the BBWAA ballot requested that his name not be included, but that request was not granted

Under normal circumstances, Bonds and Clemens would've soared in on the first ballot, and Schilling and Palmeiro likely would've been elected during their years on the BBWAA ballot. The Players Committee process presents an alternative path toward induction for players who may have been overlooked or neglected during their years on the BBWAA ballot. 

As for the 2023 BBWAA ballot, Carlos Beltrán will headline the newcomers, and Scott Rolen and Todd Helton are the most notable returnees trying to progress toward 75 percent. That ballot will be released later this month.