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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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BBWAA plays favorites with David Ortiz election into hall of fame

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox takes a curtain call after being lifted for a pinch runner following a walk during the All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS) Photo credit: (K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

David Oritz was the lone inductee into the baseball hall of fame on Tuesday, voted on by the BBWAA, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were not elected in their 10th and final year on the ballot.

All three players are separated by their statistics, positions and teams; but all three are connected and linked by suspicions surrounding their names while playing in the same era dominated by steroid-use and performing enhancing drugs.

Oritz, in his first year on the ballot, who in comparison, based off of accolades doesn’t belong in this same sentence as them but based off suspicions of steroid use definitely does.

75% of the vote is needed for a player to be elected into baseball Hall of Fame, Ortiz received 77.9%, Bonds 66.0%, and Clemens 65.2%.

A feared hitter in his own right, Ortiz, 541 career home runs, 10-time all-star, most notably performing on the biggest stage in the postseason for the Boston Red Sox.

So, how was Ortiz able shake the stench of the “steroid era” that ultimately knocked Bonds and Clemens off of the hall of fame ballot for good?

The prime of Ortiz’s career fell perfectly into the tail end of the “steroid era,” directly into the peak of the Red Sox and New York Yankees rivalry, and his career lasted long enough to take him through the new age of social media as we now know it.

Ortiz, known as, ’Big Papi’ made himself accessible to the media with his big smile and even bigger personality, beloved by his peers and by baseball fans everywhere, becoming one of few recognizable faces in baseball.

He was the heart and soul of one of the most celebrated teams of all time, the 2004 Rex Sox, who went on to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to the Yankees and ended the city’s 85-year world series drought.

Ortiz has continued to stay relevant in the game as an analyst for FOX Sports during MLB postseason.

There’s no argument to be made that Ortiz shouldn’t be in the baseball hall of fame. He should be celebrated and honored but the BBWAA has left us with no choice but to question the ethics behind their votes.

It’s not far-fetched to think that the voters decided Ortiz was more personable, approachable, and simply more likable than the others.

It turns out, Ortiz, and his suspected steroid use gets a pass because it wasn’t to the lengths that broke baseball’s most sacred records that Bonds and Clemens were able to break.

Bonds’ 762 career home runs (MLB record), seven Most Valuable Player awards (MLB record), 73 home runs in a single-season (MLB record), and Clemens’ seven CY Young awards (MLB record), and 4,672 strikeouts (fourth all-time) will not be in the baseball hall of fame museum.

One thing remains true every year around this time, the story is never about the newest inductee, it’s about the one’s not inducted, and we have only the BBWAA to blame for it.

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About the Contributor
Michael Cody Stephenson
Michael Cody Stephenson, Staff Writer
Michael Cody Stephenson is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering sports, Arts & Entertainment, Life, and opinion. Michael enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, listening to podcasts, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. He hopes to transfer to a four-year university in the Fall and one day pursue a career in the sports industry.
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BBWAA plays favorites with David Ortiz election into hall of fame