The Baseball Hall of Fame released its eight-member Contemporary Era ballot that will be inducted with the Class of 2023—and there’s no shortage of controversy.
Some of the Hall of Fame’s biggest snubs and controversial personalities have another chance to make their way into Cooperstown’s hallowed hall, now up to a 16-person committee instead of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which could potentially A saving grace for some who didn’t have the best of relationships with the media. The players on this ballot are those whose primary contribution came in 1980 or later.
The inclusion requirements are the same, however, the candidate will need 75% of the vote when contemporary era committee See you at the MLB Winter Meeting in San Diego on December 4.
Here’s a look at the eight-member ballot, our vote (if we had one), and some of the biggest snubs.
2023 Baseball Hall of Fame Contemporary Era Ballot
- Active Year: 1989-2000
- Status of
- Teams: Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles
- Stats: 1,539 games, 1,726 hits, .295/.369/.564, .933 ops, 381 HR, 1,239 RBI
Bayley was one of the most feared sluggers of the 1990s, mostly because of his bat, but also because of a menacing personality that landed him in hot water with the press on several occasions. He posted eight consecutive seasons of more than 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs, including the 1995 season with Cleveland, which made him the first (and now only) in MLB history to hit more than 50 home runs and 50-plus. also became the only) player. Doubles (50 hr, 52 doubles). His career was cut short at age 33 due to osteoarthritis in his hips, but he was on track to score 500 home runs – often an automatic pass across the hall.
Our Vote: Yes- Despite being questioned throughout her career, Bayley has never been linked to steroid abuse. He also urged for the release of the names of all 101 players listed in the Mitchell Report in 2009. However, he was suspended in 1994 for using a corked bat. Regardless, his best season came after the incident. His outrage at the media and his subsequent refusal to speak to him further damaged his reputation in the public court, but that did not diminish what he did as a bowler.
- Active Year: 1986-2007
- Status of
- Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants
- Stats: 2,986 games, 2,935 hits, .298/.444/.607, .1.051 OPS, 762 HR, 1,996 RBI
Despite the steroid scandal that has engulfed his name for 25 years, Bond is statistically one of the best offensive players in baseball history. He is the home run king of the game and the only player in MLB history in the 400–400 club and the 500–500 club. He holds the single-season home run record with 73, 10 times on-base percentage and leads the league nine times in OPS. He was so intimidated that he holds the MLB’s all-time record for running and deliberate running, including a staggering 120 intentional free passes in 2004. He is a seven-time MVP award winner
Our Vote: Yes- He was a Hall of Famer before he started taking steroids and there must undoubtedly be an explanation that he abused it during the second half of his career. That being said, you can’t tell the story of baseball without Barry Bonds. It’s a no brainer and it’s been one for a while.
- Active Year: 1984-2007
- Position: Starting pitcher
- Teams: Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Houston Astroso
- Stats: 707 game starts, 354-184, 3.12 ERA, 4,672 strikeouts, 1.173 WHIP
Clemens holds the MLB record with seven Cy Young Awards and is the only pitcher in history to dismiss 20 batsmen in a single start on multiple occasions. He is third in strikeouts and his 354 wins rank ninth.
Our Vote: Yes- Another generational genius whose record is tainted by PED, Clemens still deserves to be in the hall as he dominated from 1986–1997 before starting steroid use: 197–109 with a 2.89 ERA and 2,682 strikeouts , four Cy Young Awards, four 20-win seasons, five ERA titles, and the 1986 AL MVP.
- Active Years: 1982-1995
- Position: 1B
- Teams: New York Yankees
- Stats: 1,785 games, 2,153 hits, .307/.357/.471, .830 ops, 222 HR, 1,099 RBI
Back issues eventually derailed the careers of the top three first basemen of the 1980s. During his peak of 1984-1989, he hit .327 with .902 OPS, 160 home runs, 257 doubles and 684 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 1985, was a nine-time Gold Glove winner and a three-time Silver Slugger winner.
Our Vote: No- It’s not an easy decision, considering how good Mattingly was – and how angry Yankees fans would be. But judging by the rest of the ballot and assuming its peak is without fault quite short, it’s not his time now. It is also notable that even the top first baseman of the era, Keith Hernandez, did not make the ballot.
- Active Years: 1986-2004
- Position: 1B
- Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Stats: 2,460 games, 2,490 hits, .284/.377/.509, .886 ops, 493 HR, 1,550 RBI
If McGriff had spent the bulk of his career in the big markets, he would already have been in the Hall of Fame. The power-hitting first baseman hit 30 or more home runs eight times and topped the 100-RBI mark an additional seven times. He is a five-time All-Star with three Silver Sluggers to his name and had OPS of .800 or better in 15 of his first 16 full seasons.
Our Vote: Yes- Had he scored seven more home runs, we wouldn’t have even had this discussion. A consistent star who managed to build up throughout his career despite being part of several big trades.
- Active Years: 1976-1993
- Status of
- Teams: Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies
- Stats: 2,180 games, 2,111 hits, .265/.346/.469, .815 ops, 398 HR, 1,266 RBI
For eight seasons from 1980–1987, Murphy was one of the game’s best outfielders. He was named to seven All-Star teams, won five Gold Glove Awards, and posted a .891 OPS with an average of 33 home runs and 96 RBIs. He also won a pair of MVP awards which came in succession from 1982–1983.
Our Vote: No- Murphy is certainly a very good Hall of Famer, but his run as a major player wasn’t enough to establish himself as a real Hall of Famer.
- Active Years: 1986-2005
- Post: 1B/DH
- Teams: Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles
- Stats: 2,831 games, 3,020 hits, .288/.371/.515, .885 ops, 569 HR, 1,835 RBI
Palmeiro is one of seven players in MLB history to record 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, which would normally provide automatic induction into the Hall of Fame. He posted 10 seasons in which he homed 37 or more times, but he was suspended 10 games for PED in 2005 shortly after recording his 3,000th hit, and he soon disappeared from the game for good.
Our Vote: No- How PED improved his game provides too much uncertainty to say that he was a Hall of Famer prior to the controversy. In his first seven years as a pro, he averaged just 14 home runs and 60 RBI before becoming a superstar after turning 30 in the mid-90s, when steroid use was rampant.
- Active Year: 1988-2007
- Position: Starting pitcher
- Teams: Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox
- Stats: 436 game starts, 216-146, 3.46 ERA, 3,116 strikeouts, 1.137 WHIP
He never won Cy Young and had only four full seasons in which he posted a sub-3.00 ERA, but Schilling enters the hall-of-fame conversation because of the totality of his body of work. While he is part of the 3,000-strikeout club, he will be remembered as one of the most clutch post-season pitchers of all time. He went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 playoffs, winning three World Series titles – one in a co-MVP appearance with D’Back in 2001 and two more with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
Our Vote: No- The Hall of Fame has often stripped candidates of questionable demeanor and character from the field, and Schilling has certainly tested those limits with some ridiculous statements and ideas, but I’m not voting just because they did. Said when he asked to remove it. BBWAA ballot in 2021. “I would defer to the Committee of Veterans and the men whose opinions really matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player. I don’t think I’m a Hall of Famer, as I’ve often said, but if former players think I am, I’ll accept it with respect.
the biggest snubs
- Active Years: 1977-1995
- Teams: Detroit Tigers
- Stats: 2,390 games, 2,369 hits, .276/.363/.426, .789 ops, 244 HR, 1,084 RBI
- Awards: Rookie of the Year, 5 times All-Star, 3 times Gold Glove, 4 times Silver Slugger
- Active Years: 1974-1990
- Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Cleveland
- Stats: 2,088 games, 2,182 hits, .296/.384/.436, .821 ops, 162 HR, 1,071 RBI
- Acclaim: 1979 NL MVP, 5-time All-Star, 11-time Gold Glove, 2-time Silver Slugger, 1979 NL Batting Title