Baseball Hall of Fame voting results: 2021 has empty class as Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds fall short

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On Tuesday, the Baseball Writers Association of America revealed the 2021 Hall of Fame voting results. No players appeared on at least 75 percent of this year's ballots, meaning no one will earn induction through the traditional avenue. The 2021 class is empty. Entering the day, three individuals had received votes on more than 70 percent of the publicly available ballots: Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds. None of them hit the 75-percent voting threshold needed for induction, however.

This is the ninth time the BBWAA did not vote a player into the Hall of Fame. It also happened in 1945, 1950, 1958, 1960, 1965, 1971, 1996, and 2013. Although no players were voted into Cooperstown in 2013, eight players on that year's ballot were eventually voted in by the BBWAA.

Schilling ended up with the highest vote total (71.1 percent) on this year's ballot and was just 16 votes shy of induction. 

This was the penultimate year on the ballot for Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling. All three are set to appear on the ballot for the 10th and final time next year. However, shortly after the results were announced Tuesday night, Schilling wrote on Facebook that he wants to be removed from the 2022 ballot. If Schilling, Bonds and Clemens are not voted in next year, their Hall of Fame fates will be passed on to the Eras Committees, which meet every few years to consider players not voted in my the BBWAA.

Here are the full results from this year's ballot for players who earned at least five percent of the vote:

2021 Hall of Fame voting results

PlayerVotesPercentage

Curt Schilling

285

71.1%

Barry Bonds

248

61.8%

Roger Clemens

247

61.6%

Scott Rolen

212

52.9%

Omar Vizquel

197

49.1%

Billy Wagner

186

46.4%

Todd Helton

180

44.9%

Gary Sheffield

163

40.6%

Andruw Jones

136

33%

Jeff Kent

130

32.4%

Manny Ramirez

113

28.2%

Sammy Sosa

68

17.0%

Andy Pettite

55

13.7%

Mark Buehrle

44

11.0%

Torii Hunter

38

9.5%

Bobby Abreu

35

8.7%

Tim Hudson

21

5.2%

And here are four things to know about the voting results.

1. Bonds, Clemens, Schilling head into last chance

Entering the day, three candidates had received votes on more than 70 percent of the publicly revealed ballots: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling. Voters who keep their ballots private tend to be more conservative, and so it's a good rule of thumb to assume the public percentage will often, if not always overstate the final results. Indeed, that's what happened with Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling.

Bonds, who received votes on 73.5 percent of the public ballots, finished at 61.8 percent overall. That's a small increase over the 60.8 percent he recorded last year.

Clemens, present on 72.8 percent of public ballots, checked in at 61.6 percent overall. That is, again, just a slight boost over his 61 percent figure from 2020.

As for Schilling, he was running at 73.8 percent publicly. Private ballots reduced that figure to 71.1 percent, another marginal year-to-year increase over his 70.0 percent.

2. Rolen, Helton among gainers; Vizquel falls

As our Matt Snyder covered elsewhere, the biggest gainers this year were Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner, and Andruw Jones.

Rolen went from 35.3 percent to 52.9 percent; Helton from 29.2 percent to 44.9 percent; Sheffield from 30.5 percent to 40.6 percent; and Wagner from 31.7 percent to 46.4 percent.

Omar Vizquel, conversely, fell from 52.6 percent to 49.1 percent. Presumably the since-publicized domestic abuse allegations against him played a role.

3. Hunter avoids falling off; others not so lucky

One of the unfortunate parts of the balloting process is that individuals who fail to earn at least five percent of the vote are removed from consideration. 

Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, and Tim Hudson were in the danger zone, in between five and 10 percent, but were able to move on to another year of balloting.

The same cannot be written for Aramis Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, Nick Swisher, and Shane Victorino. Though all had good careers, none will make it into Cooperstown.

4. Yes, there's still a ceremony in July

Despite the shutout, the Hall of Fame will still hold a ceremony on July 25 to honor the 2020 class that had its induction postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. That means Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller will be honored in five months.

Live updates
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@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 27, 2021, 4:19 AM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 27, 2021, 3:33 AM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 27, 2021, 1:54 AM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 27, 2021, 12:21 AM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:48 PM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:37 PM

Buehrle, Hudson and Hunter all stay on the ballot

January 26, 2021, 11:22 PM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:20 PM

we'll have all kinds of reaction here and also a look toward next year's vote. Stay tuned.

January 26, 2021, 11:20 PM
@officialBBWAA via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:20 PM

Schilling 71.1 percent. 16 votes shy

January 26, 2021, 11:18 PM

yep, empty class

January 26, 2021, 11:17 PM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:17 PM
@baseballhall via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:17 PM

again, expect no one to make it. The percentages are what we care about moving forward

January 26, 2021, 11:17 PM

here comes the announcement

January 26, 2021, 11:17 PM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:07 PM
@NotMrTibbs via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 11:07 PM

Snyder is the Dave Wasserman of this. If he say he's seen enough, then that's the ballgame.

https://twitter.com/theaceofsp...

January 26, 2021, 11:04 PM

I think it's a foregone conclusion no one is making 75%, so here are my players to watch regarding their progress: Rolen, Helton, Jones top three. Lesser extent: Wagner, Sheffield and Abreu. And, yes, watch Vizquel and how much it goes down from last year's 52.6 percent

January 26, 2021, 10:57 PM
@baseballhall via Twitter
January 26, 2021, 10:55 PM

they are in a very similar ballpark for me

January 26, 2021, 10:53 PM
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