Rumors of steroid use likely prevented former Astro first baseman Jeff Bagwell from being elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame as voters denied him entrance today. This was Bagwell's first time on the ballot.
Bagwell will remain eligible for induction and has the chance to be voted in with his longtime teammate and good friend, Craig Biggio, who is eligible for the first time in 2013.
There had been much speculation in the days leading up to the final vote because Bagwell played during the so-called "steroid era" in baseball. Though he vehemently denied ever using performance enhancing drugs, Bagwell was a power hitter who increased his strength and size throughout his career and played on teams with known performance enhancing drug users Ken Caminiti and Andy Pettitte as well as suspected user Roger Clemens.
Regardless, Bagwell's numbers are worthy of the Hall as noted earlier today by John Royal. He was a four-time all star, won the Silver Slugger Award three times and the Gold Glove once. He was the National League MVP in 1994, runner-up in 1999. His batting average, home runs, RBI totals and other statistical categories rank right up there with the greats at his position.
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It appears voters were unable to overlook the gossip off the field and elect Bagwell for what he did on it. Maybe next year. Bagwell received just over 41 percent of the vote. A vote of 75 percent is required for induction.