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Local Sports

January 10, 2013

Writers shut out tainted baseball stars

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America just said no Wednesday.

It said no to Barry Bonds and his record 762 home runs. It said no to Roger Clemens, and his 354 victories and record seven Cy Young awards. It said no to Sammy Sosa and his 609 home runs.

Thirty-four others also failed to hit the 75 percent threshold to earn election into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Numbers that in past BBWAA elections guaranteed election meant nothing this time around. Of greater importance appeared to be whether the stars who accumulated those gaudy statistics used performance-enhancing drugs to help them along.

“This is by far the most talked about election and certainly the most controversial,” Hall President Jeff Idelson said.

It marks the first time since 1996 and the eighth time overall the BBWAA did not vote anyone into the Hall.

So instead of swarms of fans converging on Cooperstown to celebrate the accomplishments of all-time greats such as Bonds and Clemens this summer, the Clark Sports Center _ the site of the Induction Ceremony _ might be relatively quiet in late July.

The Hall’s membership still will grow by three as Pre-Integration Committee electees Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert and Deacon White _ all deceased _ will be enshrined July 28. Twelve other Hall of Famers who never had formal inductions because of World War II _ Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby among them _ also will be recognized.

The 10-member class of 1945 picked by Committee on Old Timers also will be honored. In that class were Roger Bresnahan, Dan Brouthers, Fred Clarke, Jimmy Collins, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Duffy, Hughie Jennings, King Kelly, Jim O’Rourke and Wilbert Robinson.

Idelson said honoring Gehrig, Hornsby and the Class of 1945 was something the Hall has wanted to do for awhile.

“That was something that came to fruition when we began to plan for a what-if,” Idelson said in reference to a season when the BBWAA elected no one. “We’ve talked about it for a number of years and decided 2013 was the right time.”

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