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The Baseball Hall of Fame’s vote was cast Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, yielding an empty 2021 class. No player this year met the 75 percent vote threshold required for election.
Voters of the BBWAA were a character clause by the Baseball Hall of Fame, which they must now use to validate candidates’ ballot. This character clause has been a part of the requirements needed to qualify for being placed on the ballot since its inception.
Hall of Fame Character Clause Motivation
This clause has been widely overlooked before the steroid epidemic hit the ballot. There are multiple players on the ballot who allegedly used personal enhancement drugs (PED); one was accused of domestic violence, a strong candidate with two DUI arrests, and a pitcher with polarizing social media posts.
While those may be valid points not to vote for someone, this current focus on the player’s character seems to have taken the joy from the voting process to the point that 14 voters turned in blank ballots this year.
This year’s voting results focus on the top three candidates: Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. The superstar trio fell short again due to performance enhancement drug allegations after being on the ballot for the past nine years.
Written by Omari Jahi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Wall Street Journal: Baseball’s Hall of Fame Vote Becomes a Test of ‘Character Clause’
Yahoo! News: How the Baseball Hall of Fame can solve its ‘character clause’ issue, Tim O’Donnell
Sports Illustrated: SI Insider: The Character Clause of Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Is Nothing New
CBS Sports: Baseball Hall of Fame voting: Why Scott Rolen, Todd Helton look like they’re eventually headed for Cooperstown, Matt Snyder
National Baseball Hall of Fame: BBWAA ELECTION RULES
Featured and Top Image by Kenneth C. Zirkel Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Michael (mx5tx) Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License