It's become a weekly ritual for a star-caliber baseball player to be accused of steroid use. More often than not, the accusations ring true and a former baseball star becomes disgraced and disdained.
Ironically, baseball players seem to follow the same actions when they are accused of dishonorable behavior. They simply follow the "Steroid Steps To Success."
1 - Deny, Deny, Deny --- No matter what the media, player, family, trainers, dealers, celebrities, and world leaders say--- you didn't do it. Until they come out with Phelps-esque damning evidence, fight it to the end.
2 - When you admit to steroid use, do so in the most minimal time frame possible --- If you tested positive in April 2003, tell the media that you tried steroids only once in your life... it just happened to be in April 2003 (and of course you never tried it again).
You never counted on steroids for success, it was just a fluke that you were tested the only time that you tried it. Don't worry about the truth, just stick to your story. Guys like Brian Roberts have used this strategy to perfection, so it has to work.
These steroid allegations and admissions have taken their toll on the game. While baseball experienced a renaissance of sorts in the mid to late 1990s, it did so at a price.
Offensive statistics exploded as the premiere hitters in baseball produced unprecedented clips of power numbers.
Home run records were broken regularly. Roger Maris' single-season record fell to Mark McGwire in 1998, McGwire's single-season record consequently fell to Barry Bonds in 2001, and ultimately Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron as the all-time Home Run King in 2007.
All of these are great examples of "Steroid Era" players with "Steroid Era" statistics. However, lost in the fray of needles and pills are the players who produced high-caliber results without performance enhancing drugs.
With star players joining the steroid ranks every week, I find it fitting to pay homage to the players who survived the Steroid Era with their integrity intact.
The following players, in my opinion, are baseball players who produced star-caliber resumes in baseball's Steroid Era without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.