The 2018 baseball Hall of Fame voting has been released and four players will be enshrined this summer. But while the baseball world celebrates Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jim Thome, the more interesting results were three names a bit further down the list – Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling.
Bonds (on 56.4% of the ballots this year) and Clemens (57.3%) – two players tainted by ties to the steroids era – have had nearly identical voting results in each of their six years of eligibility. In recent years they appeared to be trending towards eventual election. But this year, while their vote total continued to rise, the increase slowed down compared to previous years. The result is now it looks like their fates will come down to their final year of eligibility in 2022, and it’s going to be close.
Meanwhile, Schilling nearly erased all of the losses he took last year, suggesting that his baseball record is being impacted by voters’ views towards his political beliefs. Schilling has caused fewer headlines this year and now his total is back up to 51.2%. While he is still behind Bonds and Clemens, he has trended upward more than the other two in most years. But again, it’s going to be close, and if he misses, politics will likely have played a big role.