NEW YORK — Keep all the cheaters out of our club.
That was the prevailing sentiment from several baseball Hall of Famers who were happy to see Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa excluded from the Cooperstown fraternity Wednesday.
“I’m kind of glad that nobody got in this year,” former Detroit Tigers outfielder Al Kaline said. “I feel honored to be in the Hall of Fame. And I would’ve felt a little uneasy sitting up there on the stage, listening to some of these new guys talk about how great they were.”
Baseball writers pitched a Hall of Fame shutout for 2013, failing to elect anyone for only the second time in 42 years. Among those rejected were a trio of steroid-tainted stars in Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, all eligible for the first time.
Bonds received 36.2 percent of the vote and Clemens 37.6 in results announced by the Hall and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, both well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Sosa, eighth on the career home run list with 609, got 12.5 percent.
“Wow! Baseball writers make a statement,” Hall of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley wrote on Twitter. “Feels right.”
The results keep the game’s career home run leader (Bonds) and most decorated pitcher (Clemens) out of Cooperstown — for now. Bonds, Clemens and
Sosa have up to 14 more years on the ballot to gain baseball’s highest honor.
“If they let these guys in ever — at any point — it’s a big black eye for the Hall and for baseball,” Goose Gossage said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal doesn’t see it that way. He thinks Bonds, Clemens and Sosa belong in Cooperstown.
Craig Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, came the closest to election. He was chosen on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, 39 shy of election. Among other first-year eligibles, Mike Piazza received 57.8 percent and Curt Schilling 38.8. Jack Morris topped holdovers with 67.7 percent.
Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez received 204 votes, or 35.9 percent, in his third year of eligibility.
PIRATES ACQUIRE PITCHER
The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league outfielder Quincy Latimore.
Gomez, 24, is 14-16 with a 5.18 ERA in 42 major league appearances. Gomez went 5-8 with a 5.96 ERA in 2012 with Cleveland, who he made his major league debut with in 2010.
RARE 1865 BASEBALL CARD TO HIT AUCTION BLOCK
Six-figure bids are expected when an auction house sells a rare 148-year-old baseball card that was discovered at a yard sale in rural Maine.
A man found the card by chance in a photo album he bought while antique picking in the small town of Baileyville on the Canadian border.
It’s an original photo from 1865 of the Brooklyn Atlantics amateur baseball club mounted on a card. The card shows nine players gathered around their manager.
Troy Thibodeau of Saco River Auction Co. in Biddeford said he’s aware of only two such cards in existence, the other at the Library of Congress. Thibodeau expects the card to fetch at least $100,000 at the Feb. 6 auction.