COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire will have less time to remain eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot under changes made Saturday.
The Hall of Fame's board cut a player's eligibility from 15 years to 10, which gives McGwire a maximum of two more appearances on the writers' ballot. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, shunned so far along with other Steroids Era stars, can be considered up to eight more times each by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4 last year in his second ballot appearance, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Bonds, a seven-time MVP and baseball's career home runs leader, fell from 36.2 percent to 34.7.
McGwire dropped from 16.9 percent to 11, down from a peak of 25.6 in 2008. Sosa, who hit 609 homers, dropped from 12.5 percent to 7.2 — close to falling below the 5 percent threshold for remaining on the ballot.
Three players with 11-15 years will remain eligible: Don Mattingly (15th year in 2015), Alan Trammell (14th) and Lee Smith (13th).
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