As announced on MLB Network today, Gary Sheffield (63.9%) will not be joining Jim Leyland, Todd Helton, Adrian Beltre and Joe Mauer in Cooperstown this summer.
Sheffield was the only nominee on the ballot for the tenth year, which is the last year any player can appear on it before being taken off. Yesterday, he was tracking at just below the necessary 75%, according to Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame tracker.
A majority of those who didn’t release their ballots publicly beforehand must not have voted for Sheffield because of his ties to the BALCO scandal and Mitchell Report even though he never took PEDs while playing in-season.
Sheffield only used steroids once and he did so unknowingly while he was training in the offseason with Barry Bonds, according to Bob Nightengale’s story from late last year.
Sheffield was no doubt a Hall of Fame talent and the good news is he still has a chance to get in through the Contemporary Baseball Eras Committee once he is retired for 16 seasons.
The 55-year-old played for the Padres in 1992 and 1993, hitting .319 with a .918 OPS and 43 home runs in 214 games.
Sheffield was a nine-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and finished top 10 in MVP voting six times. He finished with a career OPS+ of 140, a FanGraphs WAR of 62.1 and 509 home runs over 22 seasons—something less than 30 players in MLB history have done (18 are in Cooperstown).