One current Hall of Famer, pitcher Bob Gibson said in 2009 that he might have used steroids had they been available during his playing days, and that he believed players who used PEDs should still be in the Hall.
Two other faces of the so-called "Steroid Era," Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, whose home-run derby of a 1998 season captured the attention of the nation, are also both on the ballot this year.
It's McGwire's seventh year on the ballot (last year, he appeared on 19.5 percent of ballots), and Sosa's first. Based on the votes that have been made public, it doesn't appear likely that either will make it into the Hall this year.
As Silver noted, this ballot "is close to being an up-or-down referendum on whether suspected steroids users are fit for the Hall of Fame." The results could serve as the benchmark for all future players who appear on the ballot with even circumstantial evidence that they may have used PEDs.
Other players who were embroiled by controversy have been kept out of the Hall for undermining the integrity of the game, despite stats that should have gotten them enshrined.
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson, an outstanding offensive outfielder, has been permanently banned from baseball (and therefore, the Hall of Fame) due to his alleged involvement in the so-called "Black Sox scandal," in which White Sox players fixed the 1919 World Series. In 1999, the House of Representatives passed a resolution urging MLB to rescind his ineligibilty, but he is still banned.
Pete Rose, MLB's all-time hits leader, three-time batting champion, and an 18-time All-Star (at an unmatched four different positions), is also ineligible for the Hall of Fame. He admitted gambling on baseball games while he was a player, and agreed to permanent ineligibility, but the issue remains a contentious one in baseball.
No player has been elected in their first year on the ballot since Rickey Henderson in 2009, and no player has ever been elected in unanimously. Other first-time players on the ballot this year include Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, and Craig Biggio. Thirteen players are returning to the ballot this year, including Jack Morris, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, and Time Raines.
The results of the vote will be announced at 2 p.m. ET on MLB Network and streamed live on Baseballhall.org.
Players who make the cut will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 28, along with umpire Hank O'Day, executive Jacob Ruppter, and catcher Deacon White, all of whom were elected by the Pre-Integration Era Committee.