There will be no new members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2021.
As ESPN's Bradford Doolittle noted, no players reached the 75% voter threshold among Baseball Writers’ Association of America members necessary to be elected into the Baseball Hall for the first time since 1960. Per Anthony Castrovince of the official MLB website, it's the seventh time since the first election in 1936 that the Hall's membership remains frozen for a year.
Former starting pitcher Curt Schilling was selected on 71.1% of ballots, followed by slugger and all-time home run leader Barry Bonds (61.8%) and fellow pitcher Roger Clemens (61.6%). Sports Illustrated explained that the trio will only be included on ballots one more time:
For the first time since 2013, nobody will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 26, 2021
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling will be on the BBWAA ballot for the final time in 2022. pic.twitter.com/eRg5IcGI5k
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Era Committee elections are postponed until next winter.
Schilling, who has become a controversial figure during his retirement, requested in a letter shared by Bob Nightengale of USA Today to be removed from next year's ballot:
Curt Schilling in letter to the Hall of Fame: "I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 26, 2021
Curt Schilling on being in the same conversation as Bonds and Clemens: "I’ve played with wife beaters, adulterers, assaulted, drug addicts and alcoholics. I’ve never hit a woman, driven drunk, done drugs, PEDs or otherwise, assaulted anyone or committed any sort of crime. (more)— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 26, 2021
More Curt Schilling on Bonds and Clemens: "But I’m now somehow in a conversation with two men who cheated, and instead of being accountable they chose to destroy others lives to protect their lie. I will always have one thing they will forever chase. A legacy.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 26, 2021
Bonds and Clemens, meanwhile, have long been linked with the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
As Mike Oz wrote for Yahoo Sports, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz will join Schilling, Bonds, and Clemens among other Hall of Fame candidates for 2022. It's possible, and maybe even likely, none will hit the 75% threshold.