On Tuesday, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced its most recent Hall of Fame election results. Per the rules, a player needs at least 75 percent of the vote in order to be enshrined, and at least five percent to remain on the ballot. Players are limited to 10 years on the ballot before their candidacy becomes subject to the whims of a Veterans Committee. The 10-year limit never seemed relevant to Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens during their playing days, as each was among the best to ever play the game at their position.
Now, eight years into their Hall of Fame eligibility, it's possible both will require that 10th year -- or a committee -- to get voted in at all.
Bonds, who had previously topped out at 59.1 percent of the votes, received 60.7 percent this year. He is, of course, Major League Baseball's all-time leader in home runs, having launched 762 during his 22-season career. Bonds won seven Most Valuable Player Awards, made 14 All-Star Games, and snagged eight Gold Glove Awards. He finished with 162.8 career Wins Above Replacement, or the most ever, according to Baseball-Reference's calculations. Here are his voting percentages for the last four cycles:
2017: 53.8 percent
2018: 56.4 percent
2019: 59.1 percent
2020: 60.7 percent
Clemens, meanwhile, received 61 percent of the vote after having peaked at 59.5 percent last year. He won seven Cy Young Awards and ERA titles during his career, and he made 11 All-Star Games. He also won the 1986 MVP Award. Clemens ranks third in career strikeouts, ninth in wins, and eighth in Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference's calculations. Here are Clemens' recent voting percentages:
2017: 54.1 percent
2018: 57.3 percent
2019: 59.5 percent
2020: 61.0 percent
Enshrinement has been withheld from Bonds and Clemens due to their suspected use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds' lawyer once said he admitted to using steroids, but that he did so after being misled by his personal trainer. As for Clemens, longtime teammate and friend Andy Pettitte testified about his steroid and HGH usage.
It's worth pointing out that there are other, more concerning reasons for enacting the character clause against Bonds and Clemens. Bonds has been accused of abusive behavior by multiple partners, including his ex-wife, who testified that he pushed her to the floor and kicked her when she was eight months pregnant. Clemens, for his part, had a long-term affair with late musician Mindy McCready, who was underage when the two met.
You can view complete voting results by clicking here.