Giants legend and Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey is pushing for Barry Bonds to make it to Cooperstown in his sixth year on the ballot.
“I just think it’s a sin he’s not in there,” McCovey said Friday to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. “If anybody deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, it’s Barry.”
McCovey also spoke out on a controversial letter written by another baseball legend. Joe Morgan, Hall of Fame second baseman who serves as the Hall's vice chairman, emailed a letter urging voters to not support players who admitted using steroids, failed drug tests or were mentioned in the 2007 Mitchell report. The letter was sent on Nov. 21, a day after this year's ballot came out.
“That letter Morgan wrote sure is not going to help Barry,” McCovey said. “But I’m glad to hear a lot of the writers say the letter is not going to influence their vote because I know a lot of it is aimed at him. I wasn’t too happy about it.
“You’re naïve if you don’t think it was aimed at Barry.”
Morgan specifically stated he hopes “the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame." McCovey has a message for him.
“Guys took things ever since baseball existed. It may not have been steroids, but guys took things like those greenies and stuff so they could play the next day. You’re telling me everybody is clean as a whistle? You played against guys who were doing the same thing he was doing, so what the heck?" McCovey says.
When asked why Bonds should be voted into the Hall of Fame, McCovey made it clear there shouldn't be any debate.
"You talk to anybody who played against him at that time, they’ll say he was the best hitter they ever saw in their lives. Those are his peers talking," McCovey said.
Ryan Thibodaux, an Oakland native, tracks Hall of Fame ballots. With 132 public ballots plus four anonymous ones, good for 32.1 percent of votes, Bonds is currently at 72.8 percent of votes. He will be enshrined if he receives 75 percent of votes. This past year, Bonds received 53.8 percent of votes.