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January 10, 2013

No entry granted to Hall of Fame on 1st ballot for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa

NEW YORK — No one was elected to the Hall of Fame this year. When voters closed the doors to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, they also shut out everybody else.

For only the second time in four decades, baseball writers failed to give any player the 75 percent required for induction to Cooperstown, sending a powerful signal that stars of the Steroids Era will be held to a different standard.

All the awards and accomplishments collected over long careers by Bonds, Clemens and Sosa could not offset suspicions those feats were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs.

Voters also denied entry Wednesday to fellow newcomers Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling, along with holdovers Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Lee Smith.

Among the most honored players of their generation, these standouts won’t find their images among the 300 bronze plaques on the oak walls in Cooperstown, where — at least for now — the doors appear to be bolted shut on anyone tainted by PEDs.

“After what has been written and said over the last few years I’m not overly surprised,” Clemens said in a statement he posted on Twitter.

Bonds, Clemens and Sosa retired after the 2007 season. They were eligible for the Hall for the first time and have up to 14 more years on the writers’ ballot.

“Curt Schilling made a good point, everyone was guilty. Either you used PEDs, or you did nothing to stop their use,” Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt said in an email to The Associated Press after this year’s vote was announced. “This generation got rich. Seems there was a price to pay.”

Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, appeared on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, the highest total but 39 votes shy.

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