Posted: Jan 9, 2013 3:31 PM by cbssports.com
For the first time since 1996 and for just the eighth time in history, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) has failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday, the BBWAA announced its 2013 results live on MLB Network, and not one of the 37 candidates eligible for election was named to the necessary 75% of ballots. First-time candidate Craig Biggio came closest, as he was named on 68.2% of ballots (39 votes short of election). In his 14th and penultimate year on the ballot, Jack Morris checked in at 67.7% (up just 1.0% from last year).
As for the elephants in the room, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, in their first appearances on the BBWAA ballot, notched, respectively, 37.6% and 36.2%.
As a consequence, no living inductee will be present at the ceremonies in Cooperstown for the first time since 1960. The Veterans' Committee previously voted in 19th-century star Deacon White, former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and umpire Hank O'Day, all deceased.
MLB released the following statement:
"Major League Baseball recognizes that election to the Hall of Fame is our game's most extraordinary individual honor. Achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be, and there have been seven other years when no one was elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the longstanding process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA, whose members have voted in the Hall of Fame's elections since 1936."
The BBWAA's collective decision worsens what's already a "ballot bottleneck." In addition to the dozen or so players already eligible that merit serious discussion, worthies like Greg Maddux, Jeff Kent, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina hit the ballot for the first time in 2014.