The Hall of Fame "Ballot From Hell": Steroid Users All Over 2022 Ballot

In 2021, for the first time in 8 years, there were zero players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The ballot for 2022 arrives in voters' hands this week, and they've got some tough decisions to make once again. The list reads like a Who's Who of baseball's steroid era. New York Daily News baseball columnist Bill Madden, one of those voters, calls it "The Ballot from Hell."

The most prominent first-year player on the ballot, Alex Rodriguez, is one of the primary poster boys for the PED controversy. A-Rod finally admitted using banned substances in 2009, going back as far as 2001. He then received a record 211 game suspension in 2013 after the Biogenesis scandal. 

Another first-timer on the ballot, David Ortiz, one of the most beloved Boston Red Sox of all time, was named as one of the many players testing positive in a 2003 drug testing survey. Ortiz, Madden says, also had a "long, sordid history of relationships with drug dealers in the Dominican Republic."

Then we have the two most infamous steroid users of all time, who are in their 10th and final year on the ballot: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. These two have talents and numbers that unquestionably put them among baseball's all-time greats. But their obvious steroid use has kept them short of Hall of Fame election for the past nine years. 

Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa, other widely-recognized PED users, are also on the ballot. 

Then there's the bizarre case of Curt Schilling. The former playoff hero of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox has been spewing his far-right extremist hate on social media for years, tarnishing his name and his Hall of Fame chances. Schilling fell just 16 votes shy last year, and requested to have his name removed from the ballot. 

Yet, there he is again, listed among the denizens of cheats on the 2022 ballot.

Could we be seeing, as Madden puts it, another voter shutout this year?

Photo Credit:  Kate Collins / Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin via Imagn Content Services, LLC