Hall of Fame election day should be an enjoyable event. We should spend our time celebrating the careers of the greatest players baseball has to offer and engaging in spirited but friendly debates about those players who didn’t get enough votes to make it to Cooperstown.
Unfortunately, this probably isn’t going to be one of those election days. For a number of reasons, this could wind up being the most depressing one of these we’ve had in a while.
The year-long pandemic, of course, has made everything worse. It postponed last year’s induction ceremony and forced Derek Jeter, Larry Walker and others to have to wait until this summer to finally have their moment in the sun.
But pandemic or not, this year’s ballot just didn’t offer many inspiring storylines. The three top returning vote-getters from last year are Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. It would be tough to lump together three more controversial figures than that. And there’s no obvious first-time candidate who figures to have a serious chance at induction.
All of which leaves us facing the real possibility of a rare, but occasionally necessary, outcome: no new inductees.
Schilling looked like a good bet to cross the fabled 75 percent vote threshold after receiving 70 percent support in 2020. That’s usually a precursor to an automatic bump the following year. But the three-time World Series champion for the Diamondbacks and Red Sox perhaps ruined his…