Unequivocally, the most anticipated Baseball Hall of Fame election in history will culminate this afternoon with the announcement of the vote on this year's class by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Besides the obvious issue of how those suspected to have used steroids, i.e. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, will be dealt with by the voters, there are underlying questions as to how well such worthy candidates as Jack Morris and Craig Biggio will perform.

Morris, the former American League star, was the highest vote-getter last year who did not gain election. A winner of 254 games in his career, Morris had 66.7 percent of the vote when 75 percent was needed, falling 48 votes short.

In another year, Morris might pick up as many as 48 votes without incident, but will he do so with the large images of Bonds, Clemens and Sosa on the ballot, let alone other high profile newcomers such as Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Biggio? Morris, in his 14th year on the ballot, will have only one more shot before his Hall of Fame credentials will be turned over to the Veterans Committee process.

There could be enough of a backlash toward those in the steroids era that ballots might be returned blank, thus costing not only those players but those who have been on previous ballots. Or, those who have voted for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, etc., might deem those players far superior candidates to Morris and not vote for him on those grounds.