Jan 27, 2021 - Sports

Curt Schilling asks to be removed from Hall of Fame contention after character snub

Table: Axios Visuals

There will be no Class of 2021 in the Baseball Hall of Fame, as voters pitched a shutout on Tuesday, rejecting all 25 candidates for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

The state of play: The top three candidates — Curt Schilling (71.1%), Barry Bonds (61.8%) and Roger Clemens (61.6%) — all fell short of the 75% needed.

What he's saying: Schilling, who was just 16 votes short, shared a letter on Facebook ripping baseball writers and asking to be taken off the ballot in 2022.

  • "I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot," Schilling wrote. "I'll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player."
  • Schilling has faced backlash in recent years for the political views he has espoused on social media, which appear to have limited his support in the vote, per ESPN. Among these were a 2016 tweet in which he appeared to support lynching journalists, and more recently, his support for the Jan. 6 pro-Trump mob attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Top vote-getters:

  • Schilling: 71.1%
  • Bonds: 61.8%
  • Clemens: 61.6%
  • Scott Rolen: 52.9%
  • Omar Vizquel: 49/1%
  • Billy Wagner: 46.4%
  • Todd Helton: 44.9%
  • Gary Sheffield: 40.6%
  • Andruw Jones: 33.9%
  • Jeff Kent: 32.4%

Of note: This is just the ninth time the Baseball Writers' Association of America did not elect a Hall of Fame candidate, and the fourth since rules were changed to eliminate the runoff elections in 1968.

What's next: Voters have 10 years to consider candidates, and Schilling, Bonds and Clemens have lingered on the ballot for nine.

  • So next year's election will be the writers' final referendum on all three controversial players.
  • If they're not elected, their fate will fall to a 16-person panel of Hall of Famers, team officials and historians known as the veterans' committee.

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