With the announcement of the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 coming later tonight, Belly Up Baseball has convened to give their say. 24 members of Belly Up Sports have submitted their ballots and the votes are in. Belly Up Baseball has officially recognized two legends of the game to join the 264 players already enshrined in Cooperstown.
Barry Bonds: 87.5%
Barry Bonds is the most feared hitter in the history of the MLB. He is the all-time leader in home runs (762), walks (2558), and intentional walks (688). There isn’t much to say about Bonds that hasn’t already been said. 7 MVPs, 14 All-Star game appearances, and 8 Gold Gloves add to a resume that is worthy of enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. While Bonds’ connection to PEDs keeps him off of many BBWAA voters ballots, Bonds’ named appeared on 21 of the 24 ballots that Belly Up writers submitted. In his ninth year on the BBWAA ballot, Bonds’s chances of gaining entry into the Hall of Fame appear slim.
Roger Clemens: 75%
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are often seen in a similar light among Hall of Fame voters. Clemens has a Hall of Fame resume that rivals Bonds, but like Bonds, alleged PED use hampers his chances of gaining entry into the Hall of Fame. With 354 career wins, Clemens is the only member of the 300 win club not in the Hall of Fame. His seven Cy Young awards are the most all-time and twice he won the pitching Triple Crown, leading the MLB in wins, strikeouts, and ERA.
Just Missed the Cut
Curt Schilling: 70.8%
A three-time Cy Young Award runner-up and six-time All-Star, Curt Schilling has an impressive resume in the regular season. The postseason, however, is where Schilling was at his best. A career 2.23 ERA in 19 playoff starts, including a legendary start against the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, Schilling was at his best when the pressure was at its highest. His controversial remarks and death threats aimed at baseball writers keep him on the outside looking in in our voting. Schilling, however, remains one of the best clutch pitchers of all time.
Manny Ramirez: 58.3%
Manny Ramirez is one of the most feared sluggers of all-time. His 555 home runs rank 15th all-time and his .312 batting average is the second-highest among those with over 550 home runs. Ramirez, however, has been suspended twice for violating baseball’s drug policy. With that stain on his resume, Ramirez is left out of the Belly Up Baseball Hall of Fame for 2021.
Todd Helton: 50%
The face of the Colorado Rockies for many years, Todd Helton is seeing a boost in his candidacy. This comes after former teammate Larry Walker was elected last year. With a career OPS of .953, Helton was a true middle of the order presence for the Rockies. Many voters are seemingly getting over the Coors Field bias that plagued Walker for years. Helton is in store for a large jump from 2020 when he was named on just 29.2 percent of ballots from BBWAA members.
Andruw Jones: 45.8%
With 10 Gold Gloves patrolling center field, Andruw Jones is one of the greatest defenders of all time. Add in 434 home runs and a career spent protecting Chipper Jones in the middle of the Braves lineup and Andruw Jones has a serious case for enshrinement. Jones was named on 19.4 percent of ballots in 2020 after just surviving with 7.3 percent and 7.5 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Jones has a good amount of time left on the ballot and seems to be trending towards Cooperstown.
Gary Sheffield: 45.8%
A member of the prestigious 500 home run club, Gary Sheffield was a feared power hitter over his 22-year career. Like a fine wine, Sheffield seemed to get better with age. He produced well into his 30s for competitive Braves and Yankees teams. Sheffield was implicated in the BALCO steroid scandal along with Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi which keeps him out of the Belly Up Hall of Fame.
Torii Hunter: 41.6%
A nine-time Gold Glove award winner, Torii Hunter patrolled center field better than just about anyone into his mid-30s. Add in above-average power and good speed and Hunter was one of the league’s premier players through the early 2000s. In his first year on the ballot, Hunter is fighting to get above five percent and remain on the ballot for 2022.
Scott Rolen: 41.6%
The 1997 NL Rookie of the Year, Scott Rolen was the biggest star for the Phillies since the great Mike Schmidt. While Rolen found success in Philly, St. Louis was where he shined. He received four straight All-Star nods and won three Gold Gloves in his first four seasons with the Cardinals. A defensive whiz at the hot corner, Rolen’s eight Gold Gloves are tied for third-most all-time for third basemen. With a Hall of Fame ballot that has cleared significantly over the last four years, Rolen’s Hall of Fame prospects is looking up.
Sammy Sosa: 41.6%
Another great hitter with PED accusations, Sammy Sosa is one of nine players with over 600 career home runs. Sosa is most famously known for his 1998 home run chase with fellow slugger Mark McGwire. Like McGwire, who fell of the ballot in 2016, Sosa has failed to garner significant support from Hall of Fame voters. In his ninth year on the ballot, Sosa appears destined for the same fate.
Others receiving votes: Billy Wagner (37.5%), Andy Pettitte (33.3%), Bobby Abreu (29.1%), Omar Vizquel (29.1%), Jeff Kent (25%), Barry Zito (12.5%), Mark Buehrle (8.3%), Nick Swisher (8.3%), Shane Victorino (8.3%), AJ Burnett (4.2%), Aramis Ramirez (4.2%), LaTroy Hawkins (4.2%)