Former Long Island Newsday baseball reporter casts first official 2021 MLB Hall of Fame ballot completely blank.
Last Monday, the BBWAA and MLB Baseball Hall of Fame officially released the official ballot for its 2021 induction class. The results? Underwhelming.
The 2021 Hall of Fame ballot is a unique combination of first-timers without any real prospect for induction and a slew of Hall of Fame-talented returnees disgraced with allegations of steroid use.
There’s always speculation of which way BBWAA voters will end up casting their respective votes. Unfortunately for the 2021 class, the first “official” ballot was released over the weekend and the results were quite revealing.
Over the weekend, former Long Island Newsday baseball reporter Steven Marcus revealed the first officially-cast ballot. Marcus cast a completely blank ballot, with no potential inductees receiving a single vote.
According to Ryan Thibodaux, the blank ballot was not done in protest. Instead, Marcus believed nobody on this ballot deserving of Hall of Fame recognition.
To put this in better perspective, let’s break down some of the potential inductees. The best of the newcomers includes Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, and Aramis Ramirez. While this foursome owns 17 combined All-Star appearances, the list of newcomers isn’t exactly Hall of Fame material.
Another potential metric used by Hall of Fame voters is Wins Above Replacement (WAR). This group averaged a career WAR of 50.03. And, as Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com illustrated, “the average bWAR of Hall of Fame position players and pitchers is 69.”
Looking at the returnees, the first word that comes to mind is steroids. Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens each return to the ballot for their 9th appearance. While Schilling has never directly been linked to steroid-use, the era he played in does him no favors. Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa are the most controversial players directly linked to PED’s, and this has cost them in the voting.
At the end of the day, Marcus’ cast MLB Hall of Fame ballot may be indicative of what’s to come from the rest of the voters. This could mean a very slim 2021 Hall of Fame class. To note, players must receive 75 percent of the vote to gain induction and can remain on the ballot for up to 10 years by getting at least five percent of the vote.