Hall of Fame

Kobe Bryant to be inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020

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USA TODAY

Kobe Bryant to be inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 was already set up to be a special one, with some of the greatest names in the sport, names like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, set to get in. But now that class takes on an even greater significance as Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that Kobe Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, will be inducted into the  Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo stated that the 2020 class is expected to be one of the "most epic" classes in the history of the sport.

Along with Bryant, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 is expected to include some of his fiercest rivals. The list of players that could be inducted in 2020 includes the aforementioned all-time great San Antonio Spurs forward Duncan (played a total of 30 playoff games against Bryant), Pistons legends Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups (defeated Bryant and the Lakers in 2004 NBA Finals), and Shawn Marion, whose Suns teams were a huge threat to the Lakers dynasty throughout the 2000s.

The full Hall of Fame class will be revealed in April. Colangelo maintained that "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."

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Paul Konerko misses out on 2020 Hall of Fame, falls off ballot after receiving 2.5% of vote

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USA Today

Paul Konerko misses out on 2020 Hall of Fame, falls off ballot after receiving 2.5% of vote

Former White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko will not be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. Konerko received 2.5% of the vote, less than the 5% needed to remain on the ballot.

Konerko came to Chicago in 1998 and played his first season with the Sox in 1999, hitting .294 with 24 home runs and 81 RBIs. The following season, the White Sox made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Konerko was with the team during their triumphant 2005 World Series win, hitting the first grand slam in White Sox World Series history and giving the Sox the lead 6-4 in Game 2 against the Astros.

Confused and frustrated? You’re not alone. Here's how the multi-step voting process works. Players become eligible to enter the Hall of Fame ballot five years after they’ve retired, if they’ve played a minimum of 10 seasons. From there, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America screening committee votes to determine which players make the ballot. Each voter can vote for 10 players. Players need to achieve at least 5% of the vote to be included on the next year’s ballot. If a player makes the ballot, they then need to achieve 75% of all ballots cast to be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Regardless of the voting, Konerko will always be a White Sox legend.

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Sammy Sosa restates his Hall of Fame case in fascinating conversation

Sammy Sosa restates his Hall of Fame case in fascinating conversation

With the Cubs Convention looming in a matter of days, Sammy Sosa's name was bound to come up.

Sosa is typically a topic of conversation around the fan fest, either through fan questions posed to Cubs brass or by those who still wear his jersey or sell his card or photos in the memoribilia section of the Convention.

Given that it's also Hall of Fame season as the Class of 2020 will be announced next week, Sosa's name is a key part of those discussions while he continues to linger at the bottom of a ballot filled with players who are shrouded in PED clouds.

Who knows if this is the year Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens get into the Hall of Fame, but it sure seems certain this is not the year Sosa gets in and at this point, it's hard to believe he ever will.

That Hall of Fame conversation is the impetus for Marc Carig's fascinating article at The Athletic, where the national baseball writer chronicles his random conversation with Sosa from earlier this month. Carig was on MLB Network stating his belief that Sosa and his 609 homers should be in the Hall of Fame.

Sosa was watching that interview from his home in Miami and had an associate reach out to Carig, which led to a phone conversation a few hours later.

"They treat me like I don't deserve anything," Sosa told Carig, though he apparently did not specify who "they" are.

In his conversation with The Athletic, Sosa admitted it hurts when he sees other players with inferior numbers than him granted entry into the most exclusive club in professional baseball.

Sosa did not specifically mention the Cubs in the initial conversation, but after Carig reached back out for a follow-up, he said Sosa explained his "love for the game of baseball, the city of Chicago and Cub fans."

Maybe someday, he will be welcomed back to Wrigley Field or Cubs Convention. At this time a year ago, Tom Ricketts said the Sosa update with the franchise is status quo.

When he spoke to NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan a couple springs ago, Sosa said if he ever came back to Chicago, it would be for the fans because he feels like he owes them. He last stepped foot in Chicago in 2007 and is at least open to a reunion.

"If they invited me, I would be more than happy to be there," Sosa said to Kaplan in April 2018. 

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