For just the second time in four decades, no players were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in what appears to be an indictment of the steroid-tainted stars who were on the ballot for the first time.
ESPN analyst Curt Schilling, who himself was on the ballot for the first time and got 38.8 percent of the vote, said it was “fitting” that no one received the required 75 percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Among the first-timers on the ballot were controversial stars Roger Clemens (37.2 percent of the vote), Barry Bonds (36.2 percent) and Sammy Sosa (12.9 percent), all of whom have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
“If there was ever a ballot and a year to make a statement about what we didn’t do as players -- which is we didn’t actively push to get the game clean -- this is it,” Schilling said on “SportsCenter” shortly after the announcement was made Tuesday afternoon.
Astros second baseman Craig Biggio led all vote-getters with 68.2 percent, a number Schilling felt was too low.
Schilling pulled no punches when discussing the steroid era as it relates to Hall of Fame voting, placing blame on himself, his fellow players, reporters, fans and owners.
“Perception in our world is absolutely reality. Everybody is linked to it,” Schilling said. “You either are a suspected user or you’re somebody who didn’t actively do anything to stop it. You’re one or the other if you were a player in this generation.
“Unfortunately, I fall into the category of one of the players that didn’t do anything to stop it. As a player rep and a member of the association, we had the ability to do it and we looked the other way, just like the media did, just like the ownership did, just like the fans did. And now this is part of the price that we’re paying.”
As for his own Hall candidacy, Schilling said he was “elated” to receive 38.8 percent of the vote.
“I haven’t gotten anybody out in six years; I quit playing. It’s nice. ... People are talking about and considering me as a Hall of Fame candidate,” he said. “It’s incredibly humbling, flattering; I’m honored just to be in the conversation.”