Major League Baseball is a game of tradition, history, and stats that are holy. The game was built upon a foundation of players who were idols to many growing up, not only because of their play on the field, but because of the aura they carried with them. Players such as Ruth and Cobb. Legends. Watch the movie The Sandlot and you’ll understand how players like Ruth are viewed. They established records that stood for decades and were broken by players who had integrity and worked at their craft day in and day out. Aaron and Rose, players who never cheated the game and earned their way to the top by outplaying and out-hustling the opposition.
The steroid era(not known until later) brought excitement and life back into Major League Baseball. I can remember where I was when Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris’ single season homerun record. It was on September 8, 1998 which happened to be my birthday. I remember Steve Trachsel serving up the line drive hit that barely cleared the left field wall. I was a Mark McGwire fan from that day on. I collected his baseball cards and my parents bought me his jersey. It was Sammy Sosa vs. Mark McGwire and I chose McGwire. He was an idol to me and millions of other kids and adults around the world.
Now I feel cheated. Almost like finding out your girlfriend cheated on you or something. McGwire was a figure who many looked up to, who many modeled their swing after in little league, and who many never considered was tainted. The temptation of wanting to improve your play, earn tons of endorsement money after you’re a star, and the desire to be the best are all factors when deciding to use Performance Enhancing Drugs.
These players who took PED’s disrespected the tradition, history, and the ones who have come before them in Major League Baseball. They disrespected the kids growing up idolizing them. They disrespected players like Ruth and Aaron who set ungodly records the honest way. There is no room for a cheater in the Hall of Fame. The ultimate shrine in all of sport. It’s total disrespect to the players who did it the honest way who have their plaque hanging in Cooperstown.
Rule 5 of the Hall of Fame’s election requirements(The “Character Clause” states that votes for induction to the Hall must be based not only on a player’s record and ability, but also on “integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
If this is one of the requirements to get in the HOF, then no PED user should ever step foot on the holy grounds of the Baseball Hall of Fame.