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For several years, the biggest Hall of Fame controversy around here has been Rafael Palmeiro. It’s been clear that Palmeiro was never going to be voted into the Hall by the Baseball Writers, but that failed to stop the Palmeiro haters and fans.
It’s likely that Palmeiro won’t appear on next year’s ballot.
This year’s ballot is packed with qualified candidates, many of who don’t have the PED taint.
The biggest controversy among voters this year (I am not one because I am not a 10-year member of the Baseball Writers) is about the 10-player limit.
Many voters habitually fill out a ballot with 10 players, but this year, there’s been a campaign among some to abandon the limit because there are so many worthy candidates.
Among those candidates are holdovers Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire Don Mattingly, Sammy Sosa and Palmeiro.
Palmeiro is in his fourth year of eligibility. He peaked at 12.6 percent of the vote in 2012, his second year, and last year, when no one was elected fell to 8.8 percent.
A player must get at least five percent of the vote to remain eligible. If Palmeiro gets five percent of the vote each year, he could remain on the ballot for another 11 years.
Besides the names listed above, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent are first-time eligibles. There are a number of others, Richie Sexton, Armando Benitez and Paul Lo Duca, whose ballot appearance is a one-off.
Palmeiro would have been a Hall of Famer had he not tested positive for steroids. Some of the others, Clemens, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa, have that taint, too.
Results won’t be announced until Jan. 8.