Red Sox legend David Ortiz was announced Tuesday as the lone member of the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame class.
Ortiz received 77.9% of votes on the BBWAA ballot, surpassing the 75% needed for election. Ortiz is the 58th player to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first-year of eligibility.
A 10-time All-Star, Ortiz mashed 541 home runs and posted a dazzling 1.372 World Series OPS during Boston’s three championship runs. His longevity is perhaps most impressive, as he led the MLB in doubles, RBI’s, SLG and OPS during his age-40 season in 2016, the last of his career.
While Ortiz saved the Hall from posting another shutout, after electing zero members in 2021, the storyline going in was centered around Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Both entered their 10th and final year on the ballot, needing an uptick in votes to reach enshrinement.
Time however, ran out on the two legends, as Bonds received 66% of the vote, Clemens garnering 65.2%. In the end, the duo’s longstanding connection to steroids was enough to keep them out. Bonds and his 762 career home runs and seven MVP awards won’t be showcased in Cooperstown. Neither will Clemens and his seven Cy Young awards.
And that’s a shame.
Interestingly enough, Ortiz was linked to steroids, although he’s denied ever using them. That didn’t impact him, nor should it have. But it shouldn’t have impacted Bonds or Clemens either, who were made to play the waiting game for a decade — ultimately to no avail.
While we’ll never see a plaque of the “Rocket”, Clemens said none of that matters to him.
“My family and I put the HOF in the rear view mirror ten years ago,” Clemens wrote, via Twitter. “I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF. I played to make a generational difference in the lives of my family.”
Alex Rodriguez, who openly admitted to taking steroids and has apologized, was denied entry on his first time on the ballot. A-Rod only mustered up just 34.3% of the vote. Unfortunately for the iconic third baseman who slugged 696 career home runs, it appears he’ll be headed down the same uphill climb as Bonds and Clemens.
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