MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2021 ballot

BOSTON - OCTOBER 24: Pitcher Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox pitches during game two of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on October 24, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-2. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 24: Pitcher Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox pitches during game two of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on October 24, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-2. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

The next player inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame could come from this section.

Manny Ramirez – fifth year on ballot

Another player who would have been a shoe-in for the MLB Hall of Fame, Manny Ramirez torpedoed his candidacy with two positive PED tests. That detracts from what had been an incredible career – he was a 12 time All Star and a nine time Silver Slugger, the MVP of the 2004 World Series where the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino. He produced a .312/.411/.585 batting line, hitting 555 homers and 547 doubles. However, those PED suspensions all but guarantee that he will not be voted in.

Scott Rolen – fourth year on ballot

Scott Rolen may have one of the more underappreciated careers of anyone on the ballot. He was a seven time All Star an eight time Gold Glove winner, one of the best defensive third basemen in the history of the game. Rolen was also excellent with the bat, producing a .281/.364/.490 batting line with 316 homers and 517 doubles. His candidacy has picked up steam, as he doubled his percentage from 2019 to 2020, leading to the hope that he could be inducted in the future.

Curt Schilling – ninth year on ballot

If anyone is to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame this year, it is likely to be Curt Schilling. He received 70% of the vote in 2020, leaving most to expect him to be enshrined this time around. He took off in the second half of his career, his injuries and ineffectiveness behind him. A six time All Star, Schilling posted a 216-146 record with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.137 WHiP, striking out 3116 batters with 711 walks over his 3261 innings. His bloody sock game from the 2004 ALCS certainly helps his cause as well.

Gary Sheffield – seventh year on ballot

Gary Sheffield is hindered by his abrasive personality and the fact that he never stuck with one team for very long. His resume would seemingly be worthy of induction – he was a nine time All Star and five time Silver Slugger who posted a .292/.393/.514 batting line with 509 homers and 467 doubles. But he does not have that one moment that people remember, and his name was included in the Mitchell Report. That has combined to keep Sheffield from getting enough attention to lead to enshrinement.

Sammy Sosa – ninth year on ballot

No player may have been hurt more by PED allegations than Sammy Sosa. The only player in MLB history to hit over 60 homers in a season three times, Sosa has gone from beloved slugger to pariah. His career numbers – a .273/.344/.534 batting line with 609 homers and 234 steals, would seemingly put him in. He also was a seven time All Star and the 1998 NL MVP, one of the best players of his time. Those PED allegations, however, have ruined any chance he has of being voted in.