Willie McCovey Says Joe Morgan's Letter to HOF Voters Was Shot at Barry Bonds

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 29, 2017

FILE - This March 22, 2017 file photo shows Barry Bonds responding to a question during a news conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bonds so badly wanted to play one final season in 2008 and believes he would have hit 800 home runs or come very close. It “stung” to walk away from a decorated 22-year career with little notice immediately after a record-setting season in which he became home run king with the San Francisco Giants. Bonds is over all that now, working for the Giants, and he was back at AT&T Park, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, on the 10-year anniversary of his 756th home run here that broke Hank Aaron’s record in2007. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, file)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie McCovey believes a letter sent by Joe Morgan to Hall of Fame voters last month was specifically about Barry Bonds.

Speaking to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle about Bonds' Hall of Fame case, McCovey cited Morgan's letter as one reason the seven-time National League MVP will struggle to get into Cooperstown.

"That letter Morgan wrote sure is not going to help Barry," McCovey said. "But I'm glad to hear a lot of the writers say the letter is not going to influence their vote because I know a lot of it is aimed at him. I wasn't too happy about it."

McCovey added that it's "naive" to think the letter Morgan circulated to the Baseball Writers' Association of America wasn't aimed at Bonds.

Morgan wrote that "steroid users don't belong" in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He didn't mention any players by name but instead lumped everyone who failed a performance-enhancing drugs test or is believed to have failed one together.

"Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball's investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in," he wrote. "Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right."

Bonds has slowly been gaining momentum to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame within the 10-year eligibility window. He was named on 36.2 percent of ballots in 2013, his first year on the ballot, and jumped to 44.3 last year and 53.8 this year.

Bonds holds MLB records with 762 home runs and 2,558 walks.