Cue up another round of ‘roid rage among San Francisco Giants fans, as Barry Bonds and a handful of other notorious steroids-era players were again denied Hall of Fame induction in a Sunday vote, though Bonds will be eligible for another vote in 2025.
At the beginning of this year, Barry Bonds was once again not voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in what was his final year of eligibility. But Bonds still had another backdoor way of being inducted into Cooperstown; after a player’s ten years of eligibility expires (and Bonds’s has), that player can still be voted in by something called the Contemporary Baseball Players Committee ballot, which is not the same as the Baseball Writers of America that does the normal voting, but instead consists of retired players, league executives, and sportswriters.
But even that committee did not vote to induct Bonds Sunday. The Chronicle reports that Bonds fell well short in the Hall of Fame vote Sunday, needing 75% to get in, and not even receiving 25%. Per the AP, only former Atlanta Braves first baseman Fred McGriff was voted in Sunday.
... and so the greatest hitter I ever saw, or you ever saw, not only doesn't go in to the Hall of Fame, he gets less than 4 votes from the Contemporary Era Committee.— Brian Murphy (@knbrmurph) December 5, 2022
Other notorious alleged steroid users were also denied Sunday, so it was at least evenly enforced. Neither Roger Clemens nor Rafael Palmeiro were voted in. Albert Belle was also denied, and while it was never proven that Belle used steroids, you just kind of knew with that guy.
Barry Bonds needs 12 of 16 votes from this committee to be elected to the Hall today. I don’t do predictions, but I look at these names and struggle to see five obvious votes against him. Morris is likely one. Slusser and Neal both voted for Bonds on last writer’s ballot ….. pic.twitter.com/sS2FHp2UI1— Henry Schulman BLUE CHECK MARK (@hankschulman) December 4, 2022
Interestingly, Chronicle sportswriter Susan Slusser was one of the voters on Sunday. Votes are not made public, though voters are free to announce how they’re voting, and Slusser has said she’s previously voted for Bonds to be inducted.
On one hand, Bonds has some Mount Rushmore kind of credentials. “Bonds hit 586 of his 762 home runs with the San Francisco Giants. He won seven Most Valuable Player awards, 12 Silver Slugger awards and eight Gold Gloves in a career that spanned 22 seasons,” the Chronicle points out. “He remains the lone player in the 400 homer-400 stolen base club, a mark he reached in 1998.”
That’s right, Barry Bonds at one point in his career actually stole bases! It’s easy to forget that, because from 1999 and onward, Bonds didn’t really, you know, run very much.
The Contemporary Era Committee’s decision to not the Hall of Fame's doors to Barry Bonds and others linked to PEDs did not close that chapter of history, but rather perpetuated the steroid era as baseball's lamentable never-ending story. @ChristinaKahrl https://t.co/H3cY3nfUWv— Sporting Green (@SportingGreenSF) December 5, 2022
And the sight test alone told you that Bonds was juiced. Look at this photo slideshow of his career and you tell me how this skinny kid turned into the Incredible Hulk whose head became like twice as large. Never technically busted, Bonds told a grand jury in 2003 that he never used steroids, got indicted for perjury for those statements, was found guilty of obstruction of justice, but got that charge tossed on appeal.
It does not help the steroids players’ chances that they’re getting fewer votes, not more, with each year’s successive votes. Bonds will be eligible for another Contemporary Baseball Players Committee vote in 2025.
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds looks on during a Wall of Fame induction ceremony for Hunter Pence before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on September 17, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)