Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz is well on his way to making the Baseball Hall of Fame, per the latest ballot count.
Per the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot tracker, Ortiz is on an estimated 84 percent of ballots thus far. That’s a solid nine percent beyond the required 75 percent of ballots necessary for induction.
Ortiz could be the only player elected this year, with the steroid era haunting several other participants. Big Papi wasn’t impacted by anti-designated hitter sentiment, or even a drug test in 2003 where he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Rob Manfred, of course, has since stated that Ortiz’s positive could very well be false.
“Even if your name was on that (anonymous) list,’’ Manfred said, “it’s entirely possible that you were not a positive.”
That anonymous test has come under question in recent years, but doomed other players who perhaps weren’t as media-friendly. Ortiz does benefit from the fact that he’s well-liked by the writers, though it’s far from the only reason he’ll get into the Hall on his first try.
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Ortiz’s accomplishments speak for themselves — ALCS MVP, World Series MVP, Home Run Derby champ, seven Silver Sluggers, 10 All-Star appearances and three World Series rings. A lone, sketchy positive drug test should not keep him from Cooperstown.
The steroid era as a whole deserves to be recognized among the greats in the Baseball Hall, whether Ortiz took part or not. But for now, those who used drugs to benefit their on-field ability are being barred from Cooperstown by the writers.
There isn’t nearly enough evidence to link Ortiz with this group, however.