Earlier this week the 2020 class that will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, was announced, and yet again the familiar names of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were excluded from the prestigious club.
Clemens and Bonds are just two of the largest names associated with baseball’s grudge against former superstars that have disgraced the good name of Major League Baseball.
To familiarize you with the MLB’s nomination process, each player is granted 10 years to be voted into the Hall of Fame. Within those 10 years a player must receive 75% of the possible votes to qualify for the Hall of Fame. If a player goes all 10 years without qualifying then they are no longer considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Following the 2020 results Bonds and Clemens both have two years, or two more rounds of voting, to qualify for the Hall of Fame. Each of these baseball legends has received about 60% of the votes for the past two years with no sign of growth, leaving little hope that either will be forever enshrined in Cooperstown.
If you were a baseball fan in the 1980s, 1990s or early 2000s, then you’re familiar with both of these athletes. Clemens was one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers for over 20 years, and his counterpart was maybe the most exciting baseball player to ever step up to the plate. When Clemens was on the mound or Bonds stepped up to the plate people turned their heads, woke up their kids and changed the channel to make sure they didn’t miss a moment of baseball’s most prolific stars. Similar to when Stephen Curry pulls up from three-point range or when Tiger Woods approaches a game winning shot, the world went silent and watched in awe as these men did what seemingly no other human could do.
I only bring up the gravity of these two athletes because it is not only important in their respective careers, but in baseball history. Each of these men defined one of baseball’s most important eras and to erase them from the history of baseball would be a true detriment to the legacy of the sport.
I understand that neither of these men competed fairly. I understand that it is unfair to the athletes that competed legally during these years. I don’t think it matters.
By leaving both of these athletes out of the Hall of Fame, it is effectively saying that each of these athletes legacies don’t deserve to be honored for what they meant to baseball. I believe that even without the astonishing numbers and records that these men retired with, the impact they had on America’s game is deserving of a Hall of Fame induction. It is impossible to forget Clemens striking out entire line ups game after game or when Bonds was intentionally walked in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded. Whether or not these moments were tainted, they are undoubtedly some of the best moments in baseball history and deserve to be mentioned when the story of baseball is told.