MLB players dream about making the Hall of Fame one day, well before they start their professional careers.
The place, located in Cooperstown, is almost mythical to some: it’s perhaps the most representative Hall of Fame in American sports.
Having said this, the selection process has many flaws, and criteria inconsistencies become more evident with each passing year.
The Hall prides itself of having things such as a character clause, and it is also said to only welcome the truly elite players in the sport.
Only by taking a peek at some of the Hall’s members, one can see that both of those things are often overlooked.
It’s shocking that the Baseball Writers Association of America, or BBWAA, failed to vote Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, arguably the most accomplished hitter and pitcher, respectively, in the history of the game, to the Hall.
Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate Pete Rose’s status as an ineligible player for the Hall, too, if he shows he is truly sorry about gambling in baseball as a manager.
MLB’s all-time hits leader (Pete Rose), all-time HR leader (Barry Bonds), and all-time Cy Young leader (Roger Clemens) are all NOT in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) January 25, 2022
All Three Belong In The Hall If We Look At The Numbers
Yes, Clemens and Bonds were linked to steroids…in a time in which half of the league was, too.
MLB chose, for years, to ignore the “problem” because it wasn’t seen as a problem back then.
The numbers say that all three players belong in Cooperstown.
Clemens retired with 354 wins, a 3.12 ERA, 4,671 strikeouts, and 133.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) according to FanGraphs.
That is the highest WAR output of all time for a pitcher.
He also won two World Series and a record seven Cy Young awards, at least one with each team he played on.
Bonds has the most homers in the history of the game with 762, and broke the single-season record, too, with 73.
He won seven MVP awards, three of which came before any steroid allegations.
He also collected 514 stolen bases, multiple All-Star berths, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, and other recognitions.
Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME!!!
• Career 162.7 WAR, 762 HR, 1996 RBI, 7x MVP, 14x All-Star
• Career 139.2 WAR, 3.12 ERA, 4672 K, MVP, 7x Cy Young, 2x Triple Crown,
— 358Baseball (@358Baseball) January 25, 2022
Rose, meanwhile, is the all-time leader in hits (4,256), games (3,562), and singles (3,215).
He went to a whopping 17 All-Star Games, won an MVP, multiple Gold Gloves, and was one of the best contact hitters of his day.
What Are Their Chances?
Bonds and Clemens weren’t elected by the BBWAA after ten years on the ballot, so they won’t see their names there in 2023.
Their best shot is having their cases reviewed by the Today’s Game Era committee.
“The Era Committees, formerly known as the Veterans Committee, consider retired Major League Baseball players no longer eligible for election by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA), along with managers, umpires and executives, whose greatest contributions to the game were realized in one of four eras. Committees meet at the MLB Winter Meetings.”
The four eras that the excerpt refers to are Today’s Game (1988 to present), Modern Baseball (1970-1987), Golden Days (1950-1969), and Early Baseball (prior to 1950).
The next Today’s Game era committee meeting will be in December 2022, and if there are any inductees, they will enter the Hall in the Class of 2023.
That’s Bonds and Clemens’ best chance.
As for Rose, he has already admitted he bet on the Cincinnati Reds while playing for them and managing them, but never against them.
Something will need to change for him to get in.
His case deserves another reassessment.