IBWAA votes Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds into Hall of Fame, Sammy Sosa left out

SHARE IBWAA votes Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds into Hall of Fame, Sammy Sosa left out
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Sammy Sosa didn’t get voted into IBWAA’s Hall of Fame class this year. | Sun-Times photo by Tom Cruze

The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) released its 2018 class for its digital Hall of Fame Wednesday.

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who haveboth been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, made the list, but Sammy Sosa was left in the dust. Chipper Jones topped IBWAA’s list collecting 98.82 percent of the votes. Other inductees include Jim Thome, Mike Mussina and Trevor Hoffman.

Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) is set to release their 2018 Hall of Fame class Wednesday at 5 p.m. on MLB Network.

Courtesy of IBWAA

Courtesy of IBWAA

This year’s voting has become increasingly more interesting than years past due to the number of players on the ballot who have been accused of using steroids or were proven users. Hall of Fame second baseman and Hall vice chairman Joe Morgan sent a lengthy letter in November to BBWAA members before they voted to encourage them not to elect a player with a suspect history of steroid abuse.

Howard Cole, the founding director of IBWAA, said in recent years that some of the voters have spoken out against electing players into the Hall of Fame from baseball’s steroid era.

“With the exception of guys like Vladimir Guerrero, who we elected last year, and Edgar Martinez in 2016, our ballot is the same as the BBWAA’s,” Cole wrote in an email to the Sun-Times. “Voters add comments to their e-ballots, which run the gamut, but there’s been widespread support for PED-types the last couple of years. Bonds and Clemens are in the digital Hall, which speaks volumes.”

Bonds and Clemens could make the cut, but not Sosa. Why is it that the former Cubs star can’t catch a break?

Cole doesn’t have the exact answer.

“Well, Sosa got 27.65 percent in our election, which was more than double the official number, but he was at 32.85 percent last year, so it doesn’t look good,” Cole said. “I don’t know what’s in our vote’s minds, but my guess is, all things considered, they just don’t think he qualifies as a Hall of Famer.

“I’m not anti-Sammy or pro-Sammy, and even if I had strong feelings about it, I’m just one man with one vote. I can’t speak for the IBWAA, much less the IBWAA and the BBWAA.”

Sosa, a seven-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger, played 18 seasons in the major league, hitting a career .273 batting average with 609 total home runs. From 1998 to 2001, Sosa had four consecutive seasons where he hit more than 50 home runs.

Sosa has always denied using steroids during his career,despite reports that he failed a drug test in 2003.

During the Cubs Convention earlier this month,Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts railed Sosa and said the team won’t welcome him back until he comes clean. He also added that he thinks Sosa “owes us a little bit of honesty.”

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner and 11-time All-Star, was accused of usingsteroidsduring his late career. But he denied the allegations under oath before the United States Congress.

Bonds, a 14-time All-Star, came clean about his steroid use in 2011.

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