Hall of Fame

Five years ago, it looked like the 2007 Baseball Hall of Fame class would be one of the greatest of all time. Three locks with diverse resumes: the prodigious slugger, the affable pure hitter and the all-around iron man.

But in March 2005, the door to Cooperstown appeared to close on the biggest member of the trio. When former St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics first baseman Mark McGwire decided to keep his mouth shut during a congressional hearing on steroids, he essentially allowed himself to be shut out of this July's ceremony.

Results of the Baseball Writers' Association of America's vote will be announced Jan. 9, and McGwire seems unlikely to come close to the 75 percent needed for election.

So when Orioles legend Cal Ripken and former San Diego Padres star Tony Gwynn take the dais July 30, expect Big Mac to be sitting somewhere in Southern California, utterly disappointed.