David Ortiz needed just one swing to power his way into baseball’s Hall of Fame, narrowly punching his ticket to Cooperstown on the same night voters denied steroid-stained legends Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens for the 10th and final time.
Ortiz was named on 307 of 394 ballots, just 11 votes above the 75% required for induction in results released Monday night by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He will be enshrined in July despite a reported positive test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.
Bonds and Roger Clemens, far superior players than Ortiz with much stronger ties to PED use, were not so fortunate.
Though both recorded their highest vote percentages ever, Bonds (260 votes, 66%) and Clemens (257, 65.2%) could not rally sufficient support to earn induction. They’ll now fall off the writers’ ballot – the Hall in 2014 reduced the number of eligible years from 15 to 10, significantly harming their prospects – and will be at the mercy of the 16-person Today’s Game committee, which can consider them twice every five years.