It seems all too appropriate that Alex Rodriguez’s entire baseball career comes down to one last controversy.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America unveiled its 2022 Hall of Fame ballot on Monday, and Rodriguez was on the list of 13 first-timers, along with the 17 other players still vying for a spot in Cooperstown.
And his name sparked the debate that started the moment he was first hailed for steroid use: Should one of the best infielders of all time be inducted into the Hall of Fame despite indisputable evidence that he cheated?
Rodriguez is not the only controversial name on the list, but due to his long suspensions in an era where steroid use was explicitly banned, he is probably the biggest. This will be the last year of election for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, and this year is also David Ortiz’s first year on the ballot. Ortiz reportedly tested positive in 2003 as part of the league’s anonymous testing of players to see how widespread PED use was.
It’s also Curt Schilling’s last year. Steroid use does not cloud his candidacy, but his dignity – he had a long and fruitful career but was never the best pitcher in the league – along with controversy after retirement has kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Players have 10 years to obtain the 75% of the votes required to be legislated, but will be thrown out of the ballot if they do not achieve at least 5% in a given year. Bonds received 61.8% of the vote last year, while Clemens received 61.6%. Schilling asked last year to be removed from the ballot, but the BBWAA rejected his request. He had 71.1% of the vote
Other notable additions to the list include Jimmy Rollins and Mark Teixeira.
The results will be unveiled on January 25, 2022, and the ceremony will be held in Cooperstown on July 24.
At the Baseball Hall of Fame 2022 poll