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Ortiz into Hall of Fame as door closes for Bonds, Clemens

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Former Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz reacts before the game against the New York Yankees. AFP

Ortiz into Hall of Fame as door closes for Bonds, Clemens

Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday, as tarnished greats Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens missed their final chance to enter the sport’s pantheon.

Red Sox star Ortiz was the lone player elected into the Hall following a vote by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Ortiz, 46, was picked as an entrant on 77.9 per cent of ballots, passing the required 75 per cent threshold.

Ortiz, a three-time World Series champion and 10-time All-Star, clubbed 541 home runs during his career, 17th in the all-time rankings.

But while Ortiz was ushered into the Hall of Fame at the first go, the sun set on the faint chances of Bonds and Clemens making it.

San Francisco Giants icon Bonds, the all-time home run leader with 762 homers, was once again overlooked on his 10th and final ballot for eligibility.

Former New York Yankees ace pitcher Clemens also missed out.

Bonds and Clemens are both widely believed to have been spurned by Hall of Fame voters because of their association with baseball’s steroid era.

Bonds was overlooked after polling only 260 votes, or 66 per cent, while Clemens was just behind with 257 votes, or 62.5 per cent.

Seven-time Cy Young winner Clemens, who was named dozens of times in the 2007 Mitchell Report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in US baseball, released a statement on social media saying he has no regrets about missing out on the Hall.

“I put the HOF in the rear view mirror ten years ago,” he said. “I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF. I played to make a generational difference in the lives of my family.”

Curt Schilling, another controversial candidate who last year requested to be removed from consideration in this year’s voting, nevertheless polled 231 votes, or 58.6 per cent.

A year ago, three-time World Series-winning pitcher Schilling topped the voting with 285, or 71.1 per cent.

Schilling has found himself shunned following his involvement in controversies that have seen him accused of racism and intolerance.

He also tweeted support for backers of former President Donald Trump after they stormed the US Capitol last year.

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