Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz has been chosen for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, while accused steroids users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied in their 10th and final appearance on the ballot.
Ortiz, 46, received 77.9 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of American in his first year on the ballot – slightly above the requisite 75 percent to earn induction into Cooperstown.
The Dominican-born slugger’s reaction was captured on video, which shows him seated in front of longtime teammate, Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez.
‘Hello David, this is Jack O’Connell with the Baseball Writers Association of America,’ Ortiz was told over speakerphone when he got the call from Cooperstown. ‘I’m calling you from Cooperstown, New York to let you know that the baseball writers have elected you to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.’
Big Papi, as he’s known to Red Sox fans, immediately stood this feet and exclaimed, ‘yes!’ before embracing Martinez and other friends in the room.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, and Detroit Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia watch the flight of Ortiz’s three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game July 26, 2016, at Fenway Park in Boston. Ortiz was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Bonds, with seven MVPs and a record 762 home runs, and Clemens, with seven Cy Youngs and an MVP, have been unable to earn a place among baseball’s greats, due largely to of performance-enhancing drug use.
Both be eligible in 2023 for selection by the Era Committee (formerly known as the Veteran’s Committee), which votes on candidates twice every five years.
Their candidacy will specifically be reviewed by the Today’s Game era committee, which considers players who are no longer eligible for the BBWAA vote and played between 1988 and the present. That committee previously denied other accused steroid users, such as Mark McGwire.
Ortiz will be enshrined July 24 in Cooperstown, New York along with Era Committee selections Buck O’Neil, Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and Bud Fowler.
Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz walks out at Fenway Park before a September game
Barry Bonds, with seven MVPs and a record 762 home runs, might miss out on Cooperstown
Seven-time Cy Young Roger Clemens now hopes to get support for the Hall’s Era Committee
First-year candidate Alex Rodriguez, as well as Bonds and Clemens, all look like no-doubt Hall of Famers on the backs of their baseball cards, but PED suspicions have tarnished their reputations with many voters.
Bonds has denied knowingly using PEDs, while Clemens has denied taking them outright. Rodriguez was banned by Major League Baseball for the entire 2014 season after violating the league’s drug policy.
But Ortiz also came with some PED baggage, but voters were apparently less bothered by the more shaky evidence of his use.
His lone reported positive test for PEDs came during survey testing in 2003 that was supposed to be anonymous and used to determine whether to institute regular testing. Ortiz denied using steroids, and Commissioner Rob Manfred said in 2016 ‘I think it would be wrong’ to exclude him from the Hall of Fame based on that lone test.
Former baseball player Barry Bonds leaves a federal courthouse on April 8, 2011, during his perjury trial in San Francisco for allegedly lying to authorities about his steroid use
Bonds runs the bases after hitting his record-breaking 757th career home run off Washington Nationals’ Tim Redding during the first inning of a baseball game on August 8, 2007
Baseball pitching star Roger Clemens walks out of the US District Court after his arraignment, on August 30, 2010 in Washington, DC. Clemens who plead not-guilty was charged with making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified in a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee on his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs