2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Vote: Why the Steroid Era Has Made Voters Gun-Shy

Chris SchadContributor IIIJanuary 9, 2013

Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell were two of the most notable snubs in Wednesday's vote.
Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell were two of the most notable snubs in Wednesday's vote.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Baseball Hall of Fame held their annual vote on Wednesday afternoon, and for the first time since 1971, no eligible players were selected for enshrinement.

The shutout raises several questions, considering there were several players that were worthy of induction.

Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote, teamed with Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent) to form one of the most feared duos with the Houston Astros during the late-90's and early-2000's.

Jack Morris (67.7 percent) won 254 games over his 18-year major league career and won Game 7 of the 1991 World Series with an epic 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves.

Mike Piazza (57.8 percent) hit 427 home runs during his 16-year career and is arguably the greatest offensive catcher of all-time.

With these resumes, how does the Baseball Writers Association of America decide that none are worthy to be enshrined in Cooperstown?

Because the steroid era has made voters gun-shy.

The Baseball Hall of Fame is regarded as one of the most sacred in professional sports. Other sports have their big names, but there is something about the names that laid the foundation of Major League Baseball.

Babe Ruth. Joe DiMaggio. Cy Young. Jackie Robinson. Roberto Clemente.

These names and many more still resonate with a new generation of baseball fans and players, which is something that's rarely seen in other professional sports.

That's why the voters feel the need to protect the Hall of Fame from anything that would tarnish it.

It's the reason why, despite Pete Rose's 4,256 career hits, he continues to be on the outside looking in for gambling on games during his stint as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

It's also why the steroid era has represented a big problem when it comes to who becomes enshrined today.

At it's height, the steroid era was lined with players putting up ungodly numbers in the power department while producing massive numbers at the attendance gates.

Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens were just a few of the stars of that time. However, their enshrinement has been questioned due to several accusations such as the BALCO scandal and the Mitchell Report.

Their cases open a can of worms regarding every other player that played during the steroid era.

During their careers, many thought that these players were just good at baseball. Then, the accusations came and turned them from baseball gods into cheaters.

The voters of baseball do not want that to happen to an enshrined Hall of Famer.

Therefore, if Bonds, Sosa, Clemens or anybody else with an allegation of steroids can't get in, nobody from that era will get in.

It's not fair, but that's what it's come to.

With no true way of telling who was and who was not on steroids at that time, this could be the first of several votes that feature no new inductees.