This should be a very interesting round of Hall of Fame voting. Either it will be highly controversial or no one will get in. So with that in mind, let’s analyze the 2021 ballot.
Let’s quickly get this out of the way — there are none worthy of enshrinement. The top names include the likes of Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Buehrle and Torii Hunter. All fine ballplayers, but not even close to Hall of Famers. So no one will be getting in on the first ballot this time around.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Schilling is on his ninth ballot and would have gotten in already if he weren’t such a knucklehead. He’s still a knucklehead, but with no one else new on the ballot, he’s almost certain to gain enshrinement this time around. He got 70% of the vote last time, so it won’t be too difficult for him to get that extra 5% with such a thin ballot.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte
And here’s where it might get controversial. Bonds and Clemens are also on their ninth ballot and each received roughly 61% of the vote last time. Getting to 75% will take some work, but again, the absence of noteworthy newcomers will work in their favor. My guess is they’ll get close to 70%, setting up a showdown next year, the final time on the writers’ ballot for each of them. The rest of the guys will continue to hang around the ballot without coming close to enshrinement.
Billy Wagner, Omar Viquel, Todd Helton, Scott Rolen
All continue to make strides each year and this time around will be no exception. None will be getting in just yet, but I could see each of them getting in on their final ballots down the road, like Larry Walker last year.
Jeff Kent, Andruw Jones, Bobby Abreu
Meh. Everybody really hates Kent and Jones’s career fell off a cliff after a Hall of Fame start. The sabermetrics crowd will continue to make the baffling case for Abreu for some reason, but the guy is simply not a Hall of Famer.
So in the end, I believe it will be Schilling on that stage in Coopertown, joining Derek Jeter and Walker, whose induction was delayed a year because of stupid coronavirus. Let’s hope for all our our sake the ceremony can be held next summer.