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Bonds, Kent seeking gains in Hall of Fame vote

@mi_guardado
November 18, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- The momentum for Barry Bonds’ election to the Baseball Hall of Fame has slowed in recent years, but the home run king will look to gain more traction among the Baseball Writers’ Association of America electorate in his eighth year on the ballot. Bonds is one of

SAN FRANCISCO -- The momentum for Barry Bonds’ election to the Baseball Hall of Fame has slowed in recent years, but the home run king will look to gain more traction among the Baseball Writers’ Association of America electorate in his eighth year on the ballot.

Bonds is one of 32 players featured on the 2020 ballot, which was released Monday. Eligible BBWAA voters must submit their ballots by the end of the year, with the 2020 class scheduled to be announced on Jan. 21 on MLB Network.

Players must appear on at least 75 percent of submitted ballots to secure their plaque at Cooperstown. Last year, 425 ballots were submitted, and players needed 319 votes for induction. Players are eligible for up to 10 years on the BBWAA ballot.

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Bonds’ Hall of Fame candidacy has become a subject of annual debate among BBWAA voters due to his ties to performance-enhancing drugs. He received 59.1 percent of the vote in 2019, a modest jump from the 56.4 percent he drew in 2018. Bonds’ eligibility will expire after the 2022 ballot.

Bonds spent 15 of his 22 seasons in the Majors with the Giants and is the all-time leader in home runs (762), walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688). He slashed .312/.477/.666 over 1,976 games with the Giants, winning five of his seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards in San Francisco. A 14-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, Bonds remains the only player to hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases.

Jeff Kent, Bonds’ former Giants teammate, also returns for his seventh year on the ballot. Kent drew 18.1 percent of the vote in 2019, a 3.6 percent gain from the previous year. He played for the Giants for six seasons, slashing .297/.368/.535 over 900 games with San Francisco. A five-time All-Star, Kent won the NL MVP Award in 2000 with the Giants. He crushed 351 of his 377 career home runs as a second baseman, making him the all-time leader at the position.

Two other former Giants -- shortstop Omar Vizquel and right-hander Brad Penny -- are also featured on the 2020 ballot. Vizquel is in his third year of eligibility after garnering 42.8 percent of the vote in 2019. He won the final two of his 11 Gold Glove Awards during his four-season tenure with the Giants.

Penny, one of 18 newcomers to the Hall of Fame ballot, posted a 4.00 ERA over 28 appearances (six starts) in two brief stints with the Giants in 2009 and 2012. A two-time All-Star, Penny won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.