There's a chance the podium under the chandeliers in the gold-and-ivory-colored Vanderbilt Room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel will go unused Thursday.
With the cloud of steroids shrouding the candidacies of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others, baseball writers may fail for the only the second time in more than four decades to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame, rendering a news conference unnecessary.
About 600 people are eligible to vote in the BBWAA election, all members of the organization for 10 consecutive years at any point. Results will be announced at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, with the focus on first-time eligibles that include Bonds, Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza.
Since 1965, the only years the writers failed to elect a candidate were in 1971 and 1996.