The 10 Best Clean Sluggers of the Steroids Era
With A-Roids recent fall from grace, the club of great clean sluggers of the steroid era loses another member. In researching the best clean sluggers of the time, it was difficult to tell who was using (Jeff Bagwell?) and who was too young or too old to make the list (Albert Pujols).
Here's a look at a list of the 10 best clean home run hitters of the steroid era, which I'm considering the decade from 1993-2003. These 10 men were robbed of money, awards, and championships, but will be remembered for their integrity towards the game of baseball.
10. Larry Walker
The humble 1997 NL MVP slugged 383 career homers, all of them in the steroid era. The best player in Rockies franchise history is the pride of Maple Ridge, Canada.
9. Vladimir Guerrero
Barely old enough for this list, Guerrero will be remembered for his natural ability to hit for power and average, and for his arm in the outfield.
Guerrero didn't become a full time player until 1998, but he hit 223 dingers in the six years between 98-03, and won the 2004 AL MVP.
8. Chipper Jones
Like Guerrero, Chipper is more than a slugger. Third on the all-time home run list for switch hitters, Jones was this years NL batting champ, almost a decade after winning the 1999 NL MVP. Chipper piled up 280 home runs from 1995-2003.
7. Fred McGriff
We've all seen McGriff a thousand times on Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills Video commercial. Turns out the guy played in the major leagues too! In hitting 368 homers from 93-03, McGriff established himself as one of the best pure sluggers of the time.
6. Frank Thomas
If there ever was a man who didn't need the juice, it was The Big Hurt. Big Frank Thomas belted 355 home runs from 93-03, while winning back-to-back AL MVP's in 93 and 94. The future hall-of-famer has over 500 career homers, while maintaining an average of over .300.
5. Carlos Delgado
One of the most under appreciated hitters of his time, Delgado hit over 30 home every season for a decade beginning in '96. This season, Delgado should become just the 11th player to hit 500 homers, 500 doubles, and 1,500 RBI's.
4. Mike Piazza
The hardest hitting catcher of all time, Piazza hit the second most homers out of any clean player in the big leagues from 1993-2003. The 12-time all-star is married to someone named Alicia Rickter, who you can see on google!
3. Jim Thome
Big Jim hit 378 home runs during the steroid decade. Thome has over 540 homers on his career, and in classic slugger fashion is third on the all-time strikeout list.
2. Manny Ramirez
It's hard to tell if there's a lot of muscle under Manny's baggy uniform. It's hard to picture Manny lifting weights. Harder still to see him taking steroids, but we've been wrong before, haven't we.
The ultimate natural, never have I seen someone look so lazy and relaxed until that split second where he swings. Two time world series winner. 2004 AL MVP. 527 career home runs. Enough said.
1. Ken Griffey Jr.
If The Kid had taken steroids, I believe he would have the most home runs of all time. After blasting 394 home runs from 93-03, Griffey's body started to wear out, around the same time the bodies of the likes of Clemens, McGuire, Sosa and Bonds all started getting bigger and stronger.
No one is robbed by steroids more than Griffey, who has the prettiest baseball swing I have ever seen.