Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling will get another chance at the Hall of Fame this weekend when 16 voters gather in San Diego to review candidates on the Contemporary Baseball Era ballot.
But the best chance may belong to Fred McGriff.
The list of voters unveiled Monday by the Hall of Fame included two of McGriff’s teammates with the Atlanta Braves: Chipper Jones and Greg Maddux. The trio won a World Series together in 1995.
Another voter is longtime Toronto executive Paul Beeston, who was with the Blue Jays when McGriff broke into the majors with them in 1986.
McGriff hit 493 home runs and was a five-time All-Star but never received better than 39.8 percent of the votes in 10 seasons on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, well shy of the required 75 percent.
He is viewed as a hitter whose accomplishments were overshadowed by the musclebound sluggers of baseball’s Steroid Era.
The other players on the ballot are Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, and Rafael Palmeiro.
Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling were on the BBWAA ballot for a final time last year. Were it not for their ties to performance-enhancing drugs, Bonds and Clemens would surely have been first-ballot selections in 2013 given their historic accomplishments.
Bonds has denied knowingly using PEDs. Clemens denies any usage.
Schilling was tracking toward enshrinement before making a series of caustic comments on social media that led to his being fired by ESPN and losing the support of many voters.
He recovered and climbed to 71.1 percent in 2020, only 16 votes short of being elected. Schilling took the occasion to attack voters, saying they were “morally decrepit” and “cowards.”
In a 1,200-word missive posted to Facebook, Schilling asked to be taken off the ballot, which the Hall refused to do. He then dropped to 58.6 percent of the vote.
In addition to Beeston, Jones, and Maddux, the voters include Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas, and Alan Trammell.
The other executives are former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, Angels owner Arte Moreno, Marlins GM Kim Ng, Twins president Dave St. Peter, and White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.
It was Epstein who traded for Schilling in 2003 and signed him to a four-year contract. Schilling was 21-6 with a 3.26 earned run average in 2004 and helped lead the Red Sox to their first championship since 1918 by winning three of his four postseason starts.
The panel also includes historian Steve Hirdt and two former BBWAA presidents: La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Voters can select as many as three candidates. As is the case with the BBWAA ballot, 75 percent is required for induction. The results will be announced Sunday.
Any players elected would join any selected by the BBWAA for induction next July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The Hall once had an all-encompassing Veterans Committee for players, managers, executives, and umpires. Now there are three committees. The Contemporary Baseball Era ballot cover players whose greatest impact came after 1980. A second Contemporary committee will consider managers, players, and executives next year. The Classic Baseball committee will consider pre-1980 players, managers, executives, and umpires for induction in 2025 before the cycle starts again.