Baseball, Steroids, and the Hall of Fame

Topics: Major League Baseball, Barry Bonds, Minor league baseball Pages: 9 (2135 words) Published: April 16, 2014

Baseball, Steroids, and the Hall of Fame
Kesley D. Fleming
Due March 1st, 2013
English 112: 11:00-11:50
Professor Welsh

Baseball, Steroids, and the Hall of Fame
Baseball has always been known as America’s Favorite Pastime. However, just recently the validity of the sport has started to come into question of the minds of MLB fans because of the significant use of steroids. Just recently, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted and nobody on the Hall of Fame ballot received the 75% of votes necessary to be inducted in the Hall of Fame (“No Player”, 2013). This has only occurred one other time in the past four decades (“No Player”, 2013). There are several problems with this situation including the fact that it sends the wrong message to kids who admire these players, it isn’t fair to other players who don’t get the credit they deserve, and other inductees have negative feelings about it. Are they even worthy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Steroids were banned from the MLB in 2004 (Nedenhunter, n.d.). So, should the men who were caught using these drugs, although they have outstanding stats, be allowed into the Hall of Fame? This past January the BBWAA voted and none of the 37 candidates were given entry into the Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio is number 20 on the career list with 3,060 hits, and had the highest percentage of votes of all the candidates with 68.2% (“No Player”, 2013). The only thing he was ever accused of was an “overly aggressive” slide at second base (Nightengale, 2013). Barry Bonds, who is MLB’s only seven-time Most Valuable Player, received only 36.2% of the votes (“No Player”, 2013). Although, this is only their first year on the ballot, they will have 14 more opportunities to be inducted. According to Desser, Monks, and Robinson, they believe that there may be racial discrimination in the voting for the Hall of Fame (p. 591). But Ken Rosenthal believes that it may be a good thing that nobody was voted in this year (“No Player”,2013). The BBWAA says that voting is “based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played” (Blum, 2013). Rob Neyer wrote a column after this year’s vote and in it included a quote from one of the Hall voters: “While I do believe Bonds took steroids (whether it was knowingly or not doesn't much matter to me, though if I had to guess, I think he knows everything that goes in his body), I don't believe all steroid users should be excluded from the Hall of Fame. I'm not here to sit in moral judgment of another human being (2013). To me this says, that some players who use steroids, will be voted for, while some of them, will be voted against. The first year Mark McGwire was on the ballot he received 23.7% of the votes needed. But then, after openly admitting to the use of steroids in January of 2010, he dropped to 19.8% and 19.5% the last two years (Lacques, 2012). The question then becomes, how do they decide? How is it okay for one man to use steroids and be rewarded by being inducted in the Hall of Fame, but another man be denied access? There are a few reasons that I have come up with as to why men who use steroids should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame, period, and below I have described them. The most obvious reason that maybe they should not be allowed in is the fact that they did an un-honest thing by taking these drugs. The voters really have to consider the athletes true talent and whether or not he would have been able to achieve the things he did had he not been on these drugs. Some people say that whether Barry Bonds had taken steroids or not, he still would have been one of the best players in all of baseball history and certainly belongs in the Hall (Neyer, 2013). Well, maybe he would have been, but can they go on that? Or does the morality of things come into play and shut down his chances of getting into the Hall? Roger...
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