Baseball, Steroids, and the Hall of Fame
Kesley D. Fleming
Due March 1st, 2013
English 112: 11:00-11:50
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...
Bibliography: Lacques, G., (2012). Steroid era’s lineup, USA Today, Retrieved from
Gabe Lacques, writing in a journal article, “Steroid era’s lineup”, (November 29, 2012), suggests his opinion of who may or may not get in the Hall of Fame class of 2013.He supports his thesis by giving information and stats about each player and his reasoning why they should or should not be granted entry. The authors purpose here is to give the public an informed opinion about what could happen when the votes are cast. The intended audience is fans of baseball and those who keep up with their favorite players even after their retirement.
Nightengale, B., (2013). Shutout no shame on hall of fame. USA Today, Retrieved from
Bob Nightengale, writing in a journal article, “Shutout no shame on hall of fame”, (January 10, 2013), suggests that it isn’t a bad thing that nobody will be inducted in the Hall of Fame. He supports his thesis by giving evidence of players who stayed on the ballot for 15 years before being voted in. His purpose is inform the public as to why this was a good decision for the BBWAA in order that the public will calm down and look forward to the potentially large class of 2014. The intended audience is fans of MLB who are appalled at the decision of this years Hall of Fame vote.
Vecsey, G. (2006). Baseball: A history of america’s favorite game. New York, NY: Modern Library.
George Vecsey, writing in an informational essay, Baseball: A History of America’s Favorite Game, (2006), asserts that the chances of players who use steroids getting into the Hall of Fame may be put in jeopardy. Vecsey builds his argument by talking about players using steroids long ago and then relating that to the things that go on today, including the new policy. The author’s purpose is to give some background information about steroid use in the MLB in order to help fans understand a reason as to why a player may not be considered for the Hall of Fame. The intended audience of the book is fans of Major League Baseball.
While I was writing this paper, I found that I am good at researching and deciding what information to use and what information doesn’t necessarily relate to my topic and needs to be thrown out. Sometimes I have a very hard time organizing my paragraphs and making them flow, and I found that on this paper in particular, because I am so passionate about baseball, I get a little carried away with information that doesn’t matter. At the beginning of this project I didn’t know where I stood on the issue, and even after researching it and reading so many different opinions on the topic, I still am not completely on one side or the other. I would, however, say that I am not completely opposed to a player who used steroids being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I didn’t really reject any of the revisions that my peer made on the paper. I think she made very good suggestions and I accepted them because I also felt that the same things needed to be changed or added to. The changes added to the strength of my paper because I ended up giving way more examples than I originally had and it added more depth to it. My favorite thing about my paper is the section about the effect this issue could have on kids and future players. This is not something that most people would think of as an effect of a MLB player using steroids, but it certainly happens.
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