Barry Bonds, who didn’t miss too many pitches, will take an eighth swing after seven whiffs.
Perhaps the best slugger in baseball history is back on the ballot for the baseball Hall of Fame, with longtime Giants teammate Jeff Kent alongside him for the seventh time. Time is running out, as a player can only remain on the ballot for 10 years.
This year’s rookies are headlined by Derek Jeter, who figures to try to match his former teammate Mariano Rivera for the second unanimous selection. Otherwise, though, there are not too many on the ballot for the first time who will take away votes from holdovers. (BBWAA voters can only check off 10 names on their ballot.) Bobby Abreu should get many votes and Cliff Lee and Jason Giambi will get their share, but otherwise the class underwhelms: Josh Beckett, Paul Konerko, Rafael Furcal, Bobby Abreu, Alfonso Soriano, Heath Bell, Brad Penny, J.J. Putz, Jose Valverde, Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, Brian Roberts, Eric Chávez, Chone Figgins and Raul Ibañez.
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) November 18, 2019
Bonds, whose 762 career home runs are a major league record, earned 59.1 percent of the votes last year — up from 56.4 the year prior and his highest so far as the voters over time get younger and more accepting of steroid users. Bonds’ legacy has been dogged by PEDs, after which an already Hall of Fame career turned legendary. A player needs 75 percent of the vote to be inducted into Cooperstown, which would probably be too big of a jump.
He’s been on an upward trajectory since 2013, when the number sat at 36.2 percent.
Kent, who played for the Giants for six years, was a five-time All-Star and 2000 NL MVP, received 18.1 percent of the vote last year.