David Ortiz Elected To MLB Hall Of Fame – Bonds & Clemens Fall Short
Major League Baseball announced Tuesday evening that, among the many deserving candidates on the ballot, the only player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022 will be former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who received 77.9% of votes.
In his final appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot, Barry Bonds fell short of receiving the necessary 75% of votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for enshrinement in Cooperstown, New York. The all-time home runs leader came in at 66%, his best showing throughout his 10 years on the ballot.
In fact, he gained votes each year, but now it’ll be up to the Today’s Game Committee to put the seven-time NL MVP among baseball’s greats. The committee considers retired MLB players no longer eligible for HoF election by the BBWAA, along with managers, umpires and executives, whose greatest contributions to the game were realized from the 1988-2016 era. The 16-person team will meet again in December; 12 votes are needed for induction.
Many of the voters vowed to never vote for a performance-enhancing drug user, which is why the former Giants left fielder is on the outside looking in—despite never testing positive for a banned substance during his MLB career. It’s also why pitcher Roger Clemens, also in his final year of eligibility, and Alex Rodríguez, his first year on the ballot, did not meet the three-quarters threshold.
In 2009, however, multiple news outlets reported that Ortiz was among the players who tested positive for a banned substance during a 2003 supposedly anonymous testing survey conducted by MLB.
“You can’t tell the story of baseball without David Ortiz. Congrats to him,” Giants pitcher Alex Wood tweeted Tuesday. “But if he can get into the HOF on the first try with a positive test on his résumé then how in god’s name does Bonds and Clemens not get in? The system is now officially broken in my eyes.”
“I know there are a lot of things going on, but to me, [Bonds] was a Hall of Famer way before everything, all the talk, all the things. This is a guy who played the game at a whole different level,” Ortiz said. “Not having (Bonds and Clemens) join me at this time is something that’s hard to believe, to be honest with you. Those guys did it all. It is what it is, and there’s nothing I personally can do about it.”
Bonds did not speak publicly—though he posted on Instagram, “CONGRATULATIONS Big Papi on your induction into the Hall of Fame! Well deserved…I love you my brother.”—following Tuesday’s news, but Clemens released his own statement on social media.
“My family and I put the HOF in the rear-view mirror ten years ago,” he said. “I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF. I played to make a generational difference in the lives of my family. Then focus on winning championships while giving back to my community and the fans as well. It was my passion. I gave it all I had, the right way, for my family and for the fans who supported me. I am grateful for that support.”
Ortiz’ former teammate Curt Schilling also appeared on his 10th and final ballot this year.
“I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player,” Schilling wrote on his Facebook page.
The 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place July 24 and includes four Golden Days Era committee inductees—Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, and Tony Oliva—and two Early Baseball Era committee inductees, Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil.
Other former Giants who were on this year’s ballot include five-time All-Star and 2000 NL MVP Jeff Kent, who garnered 32.7% of the votes; two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who failed to reach the 5% necessary to remain on the ballot.