Former Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Jose Canseco is joined by former Athletics, Mets and Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson on the Baseball Hall of Fame election ballot for the first time in 10 years.
There are 21 new names on the ballot, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who collectively have been banned by baseball for more than a decade. Bonds is the overwhelming top candidate on the writers’ ballot with 555 votes (86%) on the first anniversary of the release of the book “Game of Shadows,” in which Canseco alleges he was introduced to performance-enhancing drugs by Mark McGwire, whom he claims took HGH.
Also back on the ballot for the first time since 2007 are Oakland Athletics first baseman Randy Williams, former Oakland and Kansas City Athletics manager Tony La Russa, players Mike Fetters, Dave Winfield, Jim Rice, Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Don Sutton, and Billy Wagner.
The veterans committee will consider up to three candidates. The Class of 2019 will be announced in early December.
Elsewhere, several players tied for 19th place on this year’s NFL Hall of Fame ballot dropped off, including receiver Randy Moss, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, linebacker Junior Seau, Cardinals safety Kurt Warner, Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, and Patriots wide receiver Chad Johnson. Since 2016, none of those candidates has reached the requisite 75% of voting ballots from veterans and contributors. The deadline to submit ballots for the 2019 class is this summer.
Included among those who dropped off were several former major leaguers who went on to star in the NFL. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw, defensive end Richard Dent, linebacker Junior Seau, and defensive tackle Warren Sapp all failed to receive more than a 10% of the votes from both.
The Hall of Fame selection committee has selected the Modern Era ballot for the Class of 2019 in the last two years. No player previously from the “Final Era” was elected to the Hall of Fame before or during the Modern Era ballot.
This year’s Modern Era ballot includes inductees of the Modern Era at Class of 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The Modern Era ballot also includes special electees, such as former Phillies reliever Mitch Williams, former Giants pitcher Jose Rijo, former Yankees center fielder Tino Martinez, and former Giants manager Dusty Baker.
Drafted out of high school in 1984, Canseco finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1986 while winning the American League MVP award in 1988. After he hit 49 home runs with 137 RBIs and an .822 slugging percentage for the Dodgers in 1990, Canseco, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, was traded to the Athletics.
Canseco, who was married to a girl the day after his rookie season in the majors, was widely reported to have used steroids in his prime but has denied it for years.
At age 38, he joined the A’s in 1991 and spent eight seasons in Oakland, tying a record for the most home runs by a player at that age or younger in team history.
Johnson was a five-time all-star with the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants, winning the Cy Young Award three times (1989, 1993, 2000).