Apology or Not, Mark McGwire is Never Going To the Hall of Fame

James WilliamsonSenior Writer IJanuary 13, 2010

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17:  Former St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire tries to hold back tears during his testimony in a House Committe session investigating Major League Baseball's effort to eradicate steroid use on Capital Hill March 17, 2005 in Washington, DC. Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Allen 'Bud' Selig will give testimony regarding MLB?s efforts to eradicate steriod usage among its players. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

I'm not a baseball genius. I played baseball when I was a kid, and I will cherish those days like I cherish every breath I take.

I know how to play baseball, I know there are more statistical categories than there are colors in a crayon box, and I know most of the teams and some of the players.

But, despite my lack of experience, I also know that Mark McGwire has virtually no chance at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

He was a great player if you look at the numbers. He has 1,626 hits over 16 seasons, he's got 583 home runs, 1,414 RBI, and a .263 batting average. Very solid, very strong.

He's been to what, 12 All-Star games? He's won the Silver Slugger award three times, he even won a Golden Glove one year.

He was the 1987 AL Rookie of the Year, led his respective league in on base percentage twice, RBI once, home runs four times, and broke Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in a season with 70 of his own.

How's he not a Hall of Famer?

The answer is steroids. This guy had denied for many years that he had never taken steroids and that hurt him in the Hall of Fame vote significantly because the public was convinced he was lying. My father would say, "Just look at his arms!"

He finally now has tearfully admitted that he did break one of the ultimate baseball commandments by taking performance enhancing substances and feels it is time to let the people know the truth.

Some say that he's done this so that voters may forgive him and vote him into the Hall of Fame, some can argue that his words are genuine, and others don't give a hoot one way or the other really.

I don't know enough about him as a player to judge him. All I can remember is him being very happy when he hit the 62nd home run, breaking the record held by Roger Maris.

He has a family, he seems like an okay guy, and you do have to have some talent in order to play professional baseball.

But, he's not going into the Hall of Fame. I'm not saying that he may or may not deserve it, but he's not going in though. Not in his lifetime anyway.

He's got so many things against him right now it is unbelievable. He's got around 75% of the Hall of Fame voters against him for one. He's now really put the nail in his own coffin with his admission of steroid use, so the presumption of innocence has flown out the window, and he's got to rely on getting in as a pure power hitter instead of a hybrid of both an elite first baseman and an amazing batter.

Everyone knows that steroids help with strength, so the fact that he took steroids makes people question his ability to legitimately hit those big home runs without artificial assistance.

That's the problem. It's that word between "people" and "his" in the sentence above that hurts him more than anything.

Hall of Famers, the big Hall of Famers, do not have questions.

When I hear the name Cy Young or Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig or Jim Palmer or Joe DiMaggio, I don't have to think, the words, "Hall of Famer" echo through my head as I try to picture the faces of those legends that walked this earth.

Anyone who doesn't think that one of those guys belongs in the Hall of Fame is either blind, stupid, out of their mind, or doesn't know a baseball from an orange.

Somebody says, "Mark McGwire?"

I'm sorry. I have to think about it.

Any person with a reasonable knowledge of baseball would have to think about it. Mark McGuire wasn't a guy who transcended the legend level like the men before him.

You can be a Hall of Famer without being a legend, but guess what? You have to fight for it with a detailed argument because unless you are a legend, you are not guaranteed anything when it comes to the Hall of Fame, and that applies to all major team sports, not just baseball.

Most important of all, the very simple fact that I'm writing this article makes him questionable.

Would I even bother to write this article talking about a player's candidacy if his name was Ted Williams or Wade Boggs?

No, I would not.

For those of you who truly believe Mark McGuire belongs in the Hall of Fame, I want you to take a good look around.

There are as many negative articles as there are positive articles if not more. There is just as many, if not more, people who want the history of baseball to wipe out McGwire's name and the generation of steroid users as there are people who want him to receive the game's highest honor.

Most importantly, it doesn't matter what I think. I don't have enough experience to say whether McGwire is a Hall of Famer or not. I just don't think he was legendary like the Great Bambino.

Whether he belongs or not is not up to me. It's up to 539 men who casted ballots this year.

A candidate needs 75% of the vote to receive his spot in baseball immortality. That's a total of 405 votes minimum.

Mark McGwire received 128 votes this year. He's short by 277 checkmarks of men who are the pickiest, some are the most arrogant, some are the most egotistical, and some are even the most bullheaded idiots you'll ever meet known as the voters for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

They have the power. You, me, the guy next door, or even the President of the United States have no power over their decisions. They can refuse to vote just because they don't like that player, and we are powerless to alter that.

These voters are baseball writers with their own opinions and philosophies of what a Hall of Famer is, and they use those beliefs as they see fit.

They are probably arguing amongst themselves about his candidacy and there is no way 75 percent believe McGwire belongs with the amount of negativity written about McGwire; a lot of which is written by Hall of Fame voters themselves.

He'd need 277 more votes from these guys?

Face it people. Mark McGwire isn't going to the Hall of Fame.


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