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Thursday, February 20, 2020

No, You Made It Awkward: On Steroid-Era Players and the Hall of Fame

Back in January, in a Facebook group devoted to the Effectively Wild podcast, one post noted how uncomfortable it would be if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The poster discussed how the day in Cooperstown would be filled with awkward speeches, loud anti-PED rhetoric, and claims the Hall would be debased by their presence. But awkwardness is not an excuse. If the Pro Football Hall of Fame can enshrine Ray Lewis without a hitch, baseball can do something similar.

Baseball’s history is littered with greats who, if they were elected to the Hall of Fame today, would produce equally uncomfortable weekends, speeches and sentiments. Baseball, like America, tends to sanitize its history and mark acts of evil as “unfortunate.” In the social media age, some of the following players would have made Sunday in Cooperstown just as awkward.

So, do we buy these arguments, and why or why not, as the case may be?

QLE Posted: February 20, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cap anson, gaylord perry, hall of fame, paul molitor, pete rose, tris speaker

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 20, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5925566)
The contrast between MLB and the NFL couldn't be clearer. In MLB, when someone pops for steroids the media assembles demanding that wins be vacated, statistical records be retconned, and batting titles not be recognized. The player's very existence must be cancelled, up to and including Hall of Fame honors.

In the NFL, the league had to pass a rule that the same media could not vote a player a seasonal award or Pro Bowl selection during the same season they popped for PED's because it actually happened.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5925578)
The contrast between MLB and the NFL couldn't be clearer. In MLB, when someone pops for steroids the media assembles demanding that wins be vacated, statistical records be retconned, and batting titles not be recognized. The player's very existence must be cancelled, up to and including Hall of Fame honors.

In the NFL, the league had to pass a rule that the same media could not vote a player a seasonal award or Pro Bowl selection during the same season they popped for PED's because it actually happened.


In a lot of deeply disturbing ways, fans and media don't treat football players like they're real people. Maybe it's the fact you can't see their faces, or the turnover is so high (except for a few stars). But the total lack of regard for the health and safety of football players is ugly. The fact that contact with the helmet is still legal is absurd.

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