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Alex Rodriguez leads the first-time eligibles on the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2022 ballot 

David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez will be the

David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez will be the headline of the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot. Credit: Getty Images/Al Bello

It seems all too fitting that the totality of Alex Rodriguez’s baseball career comes down to one last controversy.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed its 2022 Hall of Fame ballot Monday, and Rodriguez headlined a list of 13 first-time eligibles, along with the 17 other players still vying for a spot in Cooperstown.

And his name rekindled the debate that began the moment he was first dinged for steroid use: Should one of the best infielders of all time be enshrined in the Hall of Fame despite incontrovertible proof that he cheated?

Rodriguez isn’t the only controversial name on the list, though due to his lengthy suspensions in an era where steroid use was expressly banned, he’s probably the biggest one. This will be the final year of eligibility for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, and this year also is David Ortiz’s first year on the ballot. Ortiz reportedly tested positive in 2003 as part of the league's anonymous testing of players then to see how rampant PED use was.

It’s also Curt Schilling’s last year. Steroid use doesn’t cloud his candidacy, but his worthiness – he had a long, and fruitful career but was never the best pitcher in the league – along with post-retirement controversies have kept him out of the Hall of Fame.

Players have 10 years to garner the 75% of the vote necessary for enshrinement but get bounced off the ballot if they fail to get at least 5% in any given year. Bonds received 61.8% of the vote last year, while Clemens earned 61.6%. Schilling last year asked to be removed from the ballot, but the BBWAA denied his request. He had 71.1% of the vote

Other notable additions to the list include Jimmy Rollins and Mark Teixeira.

Results will be revealed on Jan. 25, 2022 and the ceremony will be held in Cooperstown on July 24.

On the Class of 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Bobby Abreu

Barry Bonds

Mark Buehrle

Roger Clemens

Carl Crawford

Prince Fielder

Todd Helton

Ryan Howard

Tim Hudson

Torii Hunter

Andruw Jones

Jeff Kent

Tim Lincecum

Justin Morneau

Joe Nathan

David Ortiz

Jonathan Papelbon

Jake Peavy

Andy Pettitte

A. J. Pierzynski

Manny Ramirez

Alex Rodriguez

Scott Rolen

Jimmy Rollins

Curt Schilling

Garry Sheffield

Sammy Sosa

Mark Teixeira

Omar Vizquel

Billy Wagner

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