J.G. Taylor Spink award winner Paul Hagen and Ford C. Frick winner Tom Cheek will be honored July 27 at Doubleday Field. Cheek will earn the honor for broadcasters posthumously.
“We’re going to do everything we can to enhance the weekend,” Idelson said. “Nobody wants to see small crowds. Certainly, this will have a different feel than elections with living inductees.”
The top BBWAA vote-getter was Craig Biggio, who amassed 3,060 hits. The former Houston Astros star earned 68.2 percent of the vote. He fell 39 votes shy of election in his first year on the ballot.
Ex-Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris, who has one year left on the BBWAA ballot, was next at 67.7 percent. Biggio’s former teammate, Jeff Bagwell, garnered 59.6 percent of the vote and former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza was next with 57.8. Former New York Yankees outfielder Tim Raines was the only other player to have over 50 percent. Raines finished at 52.2 percent.
“The takeaway was the writers collectively sending a strong message they don’t take the era lightly and that was reflected in the vote,” Idelson said.
Bonds and Clemens, arguably the best players of their generation, had 36.2 and 37.6 percent of the vote, respectively. Sosa finished with 12.5 percent.
"After what has been written and said over the last few years I'm not overly surprised," Clemens posted on Twitter.
Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, told the Associated Press: “It is unimaginable that the best player to ever play the game would not be a unanimous first-ballot selection."
Mark McGwire, in his seventh year on the ballot, received 16.9 percent. That’s off the 19.5 percent he had last year.
McGwire and Sosa, 10th and eighth, respectively, on the career home run list, were quite possibly the poster boys baseball’s steroid era. In the summer of 1998, both men took aim at Roger Maris’ single-season home run record of 61. McGwire finished with a record-setting 70 homers and Sosa had 66.