What Classifies Someone as Being Hall of Fame Worthy?
Many people believe that the Hall of fame is only for people who did not use Performance enhancing drugs and people that were all natural all the way throughout their career. These people may not realize that they are mistaken. It is not their fault, but it is a common misconception. They believe that the Hall of Fame is exclusively for clean players and that it will stay that way forever. And part of players who used PEDs not being in the hall of fame is focused on the criticism they they get for doing it and the hatred they have acquired by many others. The Baseball Hall of Fame is not what many people think it is. Yes, it is mostly full of great accomplishments and legendary players and performances and it is something every baseball fan should see at least once in their life, but there is more underlying all of it than most people may believe.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is not totally clean like many people believe it currently is. It actually has multiple players who are known to have used substances to improve their performance on the field. One great example is in the article, “How Should the Baseball Hall of Fame be dealing with PED users,” by Cathal Kelly. He writes, “Guys like Whitey Ford, Don Sutton, and even Gaylord Perry all fiddled with the rules a little during their playing time. Ford once said, “I didn’t cheat in 1964 when I won 24 games….. Well, maybe a little,” The article also states, “Sutton joked that he’d used so much sandpaper in his career that he “ought to get a Black & Decker commercial out of it.” Sandpaper was not allowed to be used to increase the grip on the ball for a pitcher. The only thing you were, and still are, allowed to use is rosin. Sandpaper was a huge advantage that made those pitchers so great. It is probably able to give you even better grip than pine tar which is how some pitchers try and cheat now. Those players that cheat with pine tar are suspended for a big portion of the season, yet some legends who have done worse are beloved and praised and put into the Hall of Fame and they have done even worse than some of these other guys. The reason these other guys are in is because of their accomplishments.
Someone else who who cheated their way is Tom House. This one is a little worse than the other pitchers because House used something more similar to PEDs than sandpaper. He used something called greenies. Greenies are amphetamines. Players utilize them to be more alert and aware of what is going on. It makes players be more focused in on the game. The article from USA Today titled, “Former major league pitcher Tom House used steroids during his career and said performance-enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s,” states, “House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs. “We didn’t get beat, we got out-milligrammed,” he said. “And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them.” This proves that many players were taking some type of PEDs at that time and many of those players are now in the hall of fame.
It is so hard to exclude other players with similar accomplishments like Barry Bonds. In a Heinonline.com journal titled “Barry Bonds and the Baseball Hall of Fame” the author writes, “Bonds has a record setting seven Most Valuable Player awards and also a record setting four Most Valuable Player award in a row.” This is not to mention he is the all time single season and career total home run champion. He has a solid case to be argued as the greatest baseball player who ever lived; Yet because he did steroids he is not acknowledged as so. Meanwhile other players who fiddled with the rules and accomplished less than Barry Bonds are sitting in the hall of fame while Bonds is still excluded to this day.
It almost seems like the only thing that proves whether some players are Hall of Fame worthy is if they are frowned upon by the general public. Hank Aaron is someone that is beloved by almost everyone, yet he almost certainly used PEDs. He once come out saying that he did in fact use greenies, but he said it once he was already in the hall of fame and it did not matter anymore. So many people believe that the baseball hall of fame is a totally clean environment and that is why they do not think that guys like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens should be inducted. Meanwhile, It is a known fact that it is not a clean environment and there are many, many player in the Hall of Fame who used PEDs and cheated in other ways such as pitchers using sandpaper to get a better grip on the ball when pitching. The Hall of Fame is not all rainbows and unicorns like people think it is. It is easy to see the conclusion that it is not the fact that they used PEDs that keeps them out, but instead it is the fact that they have acquired so much public hatred that they are not in the Hall of Fame. They have done no worse than so many other players in the Hall of Fame, but because the general public knows about their actions causing hatred, which is generated by the media, they are not in the Hall of Fame while others who have used PED’s and were either never caught or admitted after they were already in are sitting above the others who did the same thing.
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2005-05-03-steroids-house_x.htm
Kelly, C. (2017, November 21). How should the Baseball Hall of Fame be dealing with PED users? Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/how-should-baseballs-hall-of-fame-be-dealing-with-ped-users/article37043700/
Hart, A. (n.d.). Barry Bonds and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/swulr40&id=178&men_tab=srchresults