Two of the most polarizing Hall of Fame candidates now have "Mr. October" in their corner.
During an appearance at the LPGA's Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions tournament this week, Reggie Jackson - who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993 - revealed that he now believes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
"Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be in," Jackson said, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "It's time."
The endorsement of Bonds and Clemens - who have both dealt with allegations of steroid use for over a decade - represents a stark change in viewpoint for Jackson, who had previously said the pair will be the only ones at their own induction ceremony if they're voted into Cooperstown due to their alleged steroid use.
Despite their sterling on-field resumes, the steroid controversies have held back the Hall of Fame candidacies of both Bonds - baseball's all-time and single-season home-run leader - and Clemens - one of just four pitchers to record more than 4,000 strikeouts.
But the two players' cases have slowly gained support in the years since they debuted on the ballot in 2013. Ahead of Tuesday's election, Bonds has been named on 71.4 percent of this year's publicly released ballots while Clemens has received 71.9 percent of the vote, as of Sunday morning.
While those numbers are likely to drop once the full vote is revealed, their current numbers leave Bonds and Clemens in position to potentially pass the 60-percent mark. That show of increased support would increase the likelihood of them eventually gaining the 75 percent required for induction.
*Vote totals as of Sunday, courtesy Ryan Thibodaux
Bonds and Clemens are both in their seventh year on the BBWAA ballot. If they aren't elected to the Hall on Tuesday, they'll each have another three years of eligibility remaining.
Jackson isn't the first Hall of Famer to throw his support behind either controversial player. Legendary outfielder Willie Mays campaigned for Bonds this summer, calling him "deserving" of induction and urging writers to "vote this guy in."