Jan 26, 2022 - Sports

David Ortiz elected to baseball Hall of Fame, Barry Bonds shut out

Photo of David Ortiz in a white Red Sox uniform. He's standing in a stadium, grinning and holding a baseball in his left hand.
Former Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz at a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Sept. 26, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Omar Rawlings via Getty Images

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) on Tuesday elected three-time World Series champion David Ortiz to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but declined to recognize Barry Bonds and other players dogged by accusations of steroid use.

Driving the news: Bonds is considered one of the all-time greats in baseball, but failed to attain enough votes in his final year on the BBWAA ballot due to allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Details: Ortiz, who's often known as Big Papi, was an 10-time All-Star throughout his 20-season career playing primarily for the Boston Red Sox. After retiring in 2016 as one of the best hitters in the game, he joined Fox Sports as a studio analyst.

  • He will be the youngest current Hall of Famer at age 46, and the fourth player born in the Dominican Republic after Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero, according to AP.
  • Ortiz was the only one of this year's 30 candidates to reach the threshold needed for election.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Jeff Tracy: The question of whether Bonds deserves to be in Cooperstown has always been a moral one, given that his talent and accomplishments even before any alleged steroid use would have been enough to warrant induction.

  • The public has been softening its position on him for years, and so has the BBWAA, with his 66% of the vote this year his highest ever. Now that he’s officially off the ballot, MLB must contend with the strange fact that its all-time home run leader (Bonds) and hits leader (Pete Rose) are locked out of the Hall.

Worth noting: Other players, including Roger Clemens, also failed to make the cut due to links to the steroid scandal, while Curt Schilling lost support after making hateful comments about Muslims and transgender people, per AP.

  • The Today's Game Committee, which considers retired players for the Hall of Fame, could still give Bonds and Schilling the recognition.

What they're saying: Bonds' team, the San Francisco Giants, issued a statement outlining his accomplishments after the vote was announced.

  • "We remain hopeful that he will gain election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame through the next phase of the voting process," they said.

What's next: Ortiz will be honored during an induction ceremony slated for July 24 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York.

Go deeper: Sign up to the Axios Sports newsletter

Go deeper