— NEW YORK (AP) — For several years, baseball fans have argued whether Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa belong in the Hall of Fame.
Starting on Wednesday, the voters who will actually decide that debate can get to work.
Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are set to show up on the Hall ballot for the first time, with all sides eager to find out whether drug allegations will block the former stars from reaching the shrine.
The 2013 ballot will be announced at noon EST.
Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling are certain to be among the other first-time eligibles. Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the top holdover candidates.
Longtime members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will vote through next month. The much-awaited results will be announced Jan. 9, with players needing to be listed on 75 percent of the ballots to gain induction.
The upcoming election is certain to fuel the most polarizing Hall discussion since career hits leader Pete Rose's betting troubles put him on baseball's permanently ineligible list, barring him from the BBWAA ballot.
While many continued to debate whether Rose should be in Cooperstown, it was moot because there is currently no way he can be considered.
On deck, though, are some of the game's biggest names — along with a lot of the sport's biggest baggage.
Bonds, Clemens and Sosa each posted huge numbers, but all were tainted by accusations that they used performance-enhancing drugs. And as baseball keeps trying to rid itself of PEDs, their impact on HRs, RBIs and Ws remains a prickly problem.
Bonds is baseball's all-time home runs leader with 762 and won a record seven MVP awards. Clemens ranks ninth in career wins with 354 and took home a record seven Cy Young Awards. Sosa is eighth on the home run chart with 609.