The controversial 2013 Hall of Fame class produces no new members, the first time since 1996.
This class featured stars of a time in baseball that was clouded in allegations and speculation of steroid use, including players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. The careers of these players had fueled a constant debate of whether or not these players deserved to be honored among the greats.
To be elected to the Hall of Fame, the candidate needs 75% of the votes. The leading vote-getter of this year’s ballot is second baseman Craig Biggio with 68.2% of the votes. Biggio played 20 seasons with one team, the Houston Astros, and totaled 3,060 hits, a notable feat that will likely be his best case for a plaque in Cooperstown.
Notable members of this year’s Hall of Fame class include:
Barry Bonds, the all-time home run leader with 762 home runs and a major league record 7 Most Valuable Player Awards, received 36.2% of the votes. Barry Bonds admitted to unknowingly taking an illegal substance.
Roger Clemens, finished his career with 354 wins, is third all-time in strikeouts with 4,672 and a major league record 7 Cy Young Awards, received 37.6% of the votes. There has been speculation that Clemens is associated to steroid use despite not failing a drug test in his career.
Sammy Sosa, totaled 609 career home runs and hit 60 home runs in 3 different seasons, received 12.5% of the votes. He denied steroid use in 2005 but in 2009, the Daily News announced that Sosa was connected to steroid use in 2003 but was not identified at the time.Mike Piazza, hit 396 home runs as a catcher, the most at the position in major league history, received 57.8% of the votes.
In regards to Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa; the debate will go on for years to come with some saying they belong and some they don’t. There will be claims that the association to any steroid use is an immediate disqualification from acknowledging them with a plaque among the greats. There will also be claims that the era revived the popularity of the American pastime, and it simply needs to be acknowledged because it did happen, despite some deceptive ways. The debate can go on forever and for this year’s Hall of Fame class, most of them will have to wait at least one more year.
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