By Anthony Tripicchio
That was the edict from 569 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America Wednesday afternoon as none of the eligible players received the necessary 75 percent of the vote for election.
While there are several candidates who have achieved benchmarks that would automatically trigger admission in the minds of many, rampant steroid use over the last 20 years has irreversibly tainted the era.
Stonewalling all players from that time period is a misguided approach. No one forgets who wins NCAA championships when they are revoked years later due to scandal and this is the same principle.
With that in mind, here is my list of who should have been voted into the Hall of Fame today:
1. Mike Piazza
To have a Hall of Fame without these two is beyond ridiculous. They brought this scrutiny on themselves, without question, but they are the preeminent players of their tarnished generation.
Their guilt doesn't erase the numbers or our memories of the type of players they were.
Yes, Curt Schilling's numbers won't bowl you over at first glance as the three names above him on this list do. However, once you dig a little deeper you find merit for his enshrinement.
Though 216 career wins leave him well short of the elusive 300 milestone, he did secure three 20-win seasons. Schilling is 15th all-time in strikeouts and second in strikeout-to-walk ratio. A big game pitcher, Schilling was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 career playoff starts. He is third in post-season winning percentage and fifth in strikeouts. His ascendant performance in the 2001 World Series earned him a Co-MVP with fellow ace Randy Johnson as they defeated the Yankees in seven games.
Further, Schilling was top five in his league in WAR three times and WHIP nine times. This guy was a dynamic power pitcher with a unique blend of control that we rarely see.
Leadoff hitters need love too. Barring Rickey Henderson, you won't find many that did it better than Tim Raines. Raines, a switch hitter, batted .300 seven times, scored 100 runs six times and won the NL batting title in 1986. He led the league in stolen bases four times and runs scored twice.
A remarkably efficient thief, Raines is second all-time in stolen base percentage with a 84.7 percent success rate (minimum 300 attempts). Six times his OBP was in the league's top five. Overall WAR slotted him in the top eight in five separate seasons. Demonstrating tremendous bat control, Raines walked more than he struck out in his career and it wasn't close (1330 BBs, 960 strikeouts).
He epitomized everything a leadoff man should be.