He earned 307 votes, or 77.9 percent of ballots, on his way to Cooperstown.
It was his first year of eligibility, and his election is well-deserved.
The biggest absence, once again, was Barry Bonds.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger couldn’t enter the Hall in his final year of eligibility through the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
He will have more chances in the future, but not in the traditional way.
In his tenth year in the ballot, Bonds earned 66 percent of votes, nine percent shy of immortality.
One-Third Of The Writers Are Firmly Against Bonds (And Steroids)
As things currently stand, it’s very clear that there is one-third of the voters strongly opposed to electing a player with steroid links.
Bonds, as you may remember, was involved in the BALCO scandal and a perjury case, as well as mentioned in the book Game of Shadows.
The book indicates he began to use performance-enhancing drugs in the late-90s.
But steroid use was a league-wide problem that, for years, MLB chose to ignore.
The league certainly enjoyed the attention, TV ratings, and popularity of the steroid era.
Bonds may not have been the most likable guy, and he and the press certainly didn’t have the smoothest of relationships, but there is no denying his contributions to the game.
Steroid links or not, Bonds was a baseball ambassador, and helped put people in the seats of stadiums all around the country and in front of the TV all around the world.
People were crazy about the home run record chase of 1998, authored by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (also snubbed from the Hall in his last chance through the BBWAA).
Bonds’ own chase of the record (70 homers, by McGwire in 1998) was also a sensation around baseball, and the country followed each and every turn of the Giants slugger.
He ended up establishing a new mark that still stands, with 73 dingers.
An Ambassador Of The Game
But Bonds was much more than a home run hitter.
By 1997, he was the only person in the history of MLB to hit 300 home runs and steal 300 bases.
Additionally, he was so feared that he established a record for most intentional walks in a season.
Once, he was intentionally walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning trailing by two runs.
Barry Bonds getting Intentionally Walked…
With the Bases Loaded. pic.twitter.com/plPF06Vvvc
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 25, 2022
Yes, the opposing team chose to allow one run but eliminate the risk of an extra-base hit.
Bonds won a record seven MVP awards, three of which came before he allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs.
He retired with 762 home runs and the second-highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) output in history, only behind Babe Ruth: 164.4.
Considering competition and era, Bonds may very well be the greatest baseball player of all time.
It’s too bad voters still want to punish players in the steroid era.
Hall of Fame or not, Bonds was a once-in-a-lifetime player, with Gold Gloves, MVP awards, Silver Sluggers, and records of all kinds.
You can’t tell the story of baseball without Barry Bonds.
He’s a Hall of Famer in everone’s mind except for the BBWAA
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) January 25, 2022
He helped baseball to grow, even if some people won’t like to admit it.NEXT: Barry Bonds Still Belongs In The Hall Of Fame