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Cleveland Indians legend Albert Belle on ballot for Baseball Hall of Fame's contemporary era committee

Belle and seven other former players — including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — will be considered by the 16-member body next month.

COOPERSTOWN, Pa. — Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro are on the eight-man ballot for the Hall of Fame's contemporary baseball era committee, which meets Dec. 4 in San Diego.

Former Cleveland Indians slugger Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling also are on the ballot announced Monday for the 16-member committee, which considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the Baseball Writers' Association of America vote, announced on Jan. 24.

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Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

A five-time All-Star, Belle spent eight of his 12 big-league seasons in Cleveland, leaving as the franchise's all-time leader with 242 home runs (a mark since broken by Jim Thome). He was at his best in 1995, when he helped the Tribe to an American League pennant by becoming the only player in baseball history with at least 50 homers and 52 doubles in one year.

Belle later played with the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles before being forced to retire in 2000 with hip problems. He finished his career with 381 homers and 1,239 RBIs, but his Hall of Fame case petered out among the writers due to a lack of longevity as well as various bizarre antics both on and off the field.

Players on Major League Baseball's ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose. Six people were elected by committees last December: Buck O'Neil and Bud Fowler by the early days committee, and Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and late former Indians All-Star Minnie Miñoso by the golden days committee. They were inducted in July along with David Ortiz, elected on the BBWAA ballot.

The Hall restructured the veterans committee process last April for the third time in 12 years. There will be a contemporary era committee vote for managers, executives and umpires in December 2023 and a classic baseball era vote in December 2024.

The ballot was determined by the BBWAA's 11-person historical overview committee: Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network), Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun), Steve Hirdt (Stats Perform), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), David O'Brien (The Athletic), Jack O'Connell (BBWAA), Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram), Tracy Ringolsby (InsideTheSeams.com), Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle), Susan Slusser (San Francisco Chronicle), and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).


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