Could This Be the Year Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens Join the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Early ballot data suggests it might

Roger Clemens
Former UT Longhorn pitcher, Houston Astro and 7-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens gives a Hook 'Em Horns sign from the sideline during the Texas Bowl game in 2017.
Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Based on their statistics alone, there would be little controversy over the idea of inducting Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In a November 2020 article for Cooperstown Cred, Chris Bodiig neatly explained the issues at hand. “In a universe without performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) or a universe in which they were tolerated or accepted, both Barry and the Rocket would have been first-ballot selections to the Hall of Fame in 2013,” Bodig wrote.

We don’t live in either of those universes, however — instead, we inhabit the one where Bonds and Clemens are heading into their 9th time on the ballot. As Bodig points out, both men have been gaining a slight amount of momentum with each passing year — but until now, it hasn’t been enough. And with players having 10 years of eligibility to be elected via the ballot, the question lingers: will either or both be elected?

A new article by Randy Miller at suggests that this year might be different. Miller discusses the work of Randy Thibodaux at Baseball Hall of Fame Tracker; as of the first 115 ballots out of a likely 396, both Clemens and Bonds had received over 70% of the vote so far. If that gets to 75% by the time of the final tally, they’ll be in.

The other candidate currently pulling in over 70% of the vote is another controversial figure (though for reasons that have nothing to do with PEDs), Curt Schilling. Will this be the year for Clemens and Bonds? The Hall of Fame will announce the results on January 26.

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