The Mitchell Report exposed Clemens just like many of his fellow professionals. First of all, let’s talk about his record. Clemens retired with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, 4,672 strikeouts, and a record seven Cy Young Awards. Those are definitely Hall of Fame-worthy numbers.
But it’s generally accepted that he was using PEDs late in his career. In short, this allowed him to keep playing later at a high level when he otherwise may not have been able to. That’s simply unacceptable in the realm of fair sports. His bank balance probably helps him sleep easily though.
One of the most high-profile victims of the Mitchell Report, Rodriguez definitely won’t be making the Hall of Fame in this universe. One of the faces of the Biogenesis baseball scandal, Rodriguez admitted to using PEDs during his time with the Texas Rangers.
It was a slap in the face for fans of the youngest ever player to hit 500 home runs. In 2013, the MLB hit him with a 211-game suspension for his involvement in the scandal. Later, they reduced it to 162 games so he missed the entire 2014 season.
A member of the notorious ‘Black Sox,’ ‘Shoeless’ Joe was the only one with a claim to be a Hall of Famer. In 1919, the MLB banned eight Chicago White Sox players for life for conspiring to throw the World Series. His .356 career batting average remains the third-highest in history.
But Jackson got his just desserts. He was a great player, however, he also betrayed the integrity of the game. In the end, he died a broken man after several attempts at literally begging the MLB to let him play again failed. Match-fixing is never a good idea.
Arguably the best player absent from the Hall of Fame, Bonds has achieved so much in the game. But the problem is that his name is now as tainted as the ‘supplements’ so many players took during his era. He received a record seven NL MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards, a record 12 Silver Slugger awards, and 14 All-Star selections.
But he’s been a central figure in baseball’s doping scandal. In 2007, a court even indicted him for perjury and obstruction of justice. When you factor in his wild performances, you have to wonder if he was always playing cleanly. In sum, many people don’t think so.
Will MLB ever just get over this? Rose is one of the greatest players in the history of the league, but because he gambled on games, he’s never going to make the Hall-of-Fame. It’s a unique case on this list. In short, he’s a three-time World Series champion, 17-time All-Star, and two-time Golden Glove winner.
Those are some outstanding accolades. Meanwhile, his 4,256 hits are an MLB record. But the league effectively banished him from the Hall-of-Fame in 1989 for violating the gambling code. It’s a shame, however, you could also argue that it was self-inflicted. Maybe they’ll one day forgive him.