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Roger Clemens On Not Being Elected To Hall Of Fame: ‘I Didn’t Play Baseball To Get Into The HOF’

CBS Boston
CBS Boston
 2022-01-26

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BOSTON (CBS) — While David Ortiz got his call to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, four polarizing and controversial players in baseball history did not. For Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa, Tuesday was their last chance to make it to Cooperstown by way of traditional voting.

All four fell short of getting the required 75 percent of votes in their tenth and final season on the ballot, with Bonds getting 66 percent, Clemens 65.2 percent, Schilling 58.6 percent and Sosa just 18.5 percent. Those four will no longer appear on the BBWAA ballot, so their next shot to get into the Hall of Fame rests on the Today’s Game committee, which will vote at next December’s Winter Meetings.

Bonds, Clemens and Sosa certainly put up Hall of Fame numbers during their career, but all three are clouded with PED controversies. Schilling came close to getting his call to Cooperstown, but a series of controversies in his post-baseball days derailed his chances. The former Red Sox postseason hero was just 16 votes short of enshrinement in 2021, and then asked the writers to take him off the ballot for his tenth and final year. He was left on, however, and came up 65 votes shy in 2022.

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner with 354 career wins over his career, took to Twitter on Tuesday night to share his thoughts on not being elected.

“My family and I put the HOF in the rear view mirror ten years ago. I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF,” Clemens wrote. “I played to make a generational difference in the lives of m family. Then focus on winning championships while giving back to my community and 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,” Clemens continued. “I would like to thanks those two took the time to look at the facts and vote for me. Hopefully everyone can now close this book and keep their eyes forward focusing on what is really important in life. All love!”

After receiving news of his own election, Ortiz was asked about entering the Hall of Fame without the likes of Bonds and Clemens.

“Barry Bonds, I don’t think there’s ever going to be another human being capable of doing what he did when he played,” Ortiz told reporters. “Same with the Rocket. … I don’t even compare myself to them.

“Not having them join me, it’s hard for me to believe, to be honest with you,” Ortiz added.

Ortiz was elected in his first year on the ballot, and will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 24.

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