Bonds, Clemens denied; no players make Hall

Wed Jan 9, 2013 4:13pm EST
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - No one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens snubbed over suspicion they used performance enhancing drugs.

Craig Biggio, who stroked 3,060 hits in a 20-year career with the Houston Astros, came closest to winning election, named on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots to fall 39 votes shy of the 427 needed for election to the Cooperstown, New York, shrine.

Three more votes back was pitcher Jack Morris, who received 385 votes, followed by Jeff Bagwell at 339.

Bonds was named on 36.2 percent of the ballots, and Clemens 37.6, well short of the 75 percent needed for enshrinement in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

It marked the first year since 1996 that no player was elected into the Hall of Fame, in what was seen as a referendum on players that compiled outsized statistics during the so-called Steroids Era.

"I was a little shocked," Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins told MLB TV. "I thought probably Jack Morris or Craig Biggio would probably get the opportunity to be a Hall of Famer because they had such outstanding careers.

"But with the high profile situation of having too many other players under the microscope, the suspicion of taking performance enhancing drugs, I think it took away from their opportunity for getting votes."

Clemens and Bonds, appearing on the ballot for the first time after waiting five years following their retirement, would have been certain first-ballot winners but faced a backlash over links to what Major League Baseball's internal Mitchell Report of 2007 called widespread doping in the game.   Continued...