We all remember the 1998 baseball season. If you're a sports fan I'd think you'd almost have to try to not remember that year.
We all remember it differently. I, for one, was a kid growing up playing Little League baseball. At the time, Little League was divided into two sides, the Mark McGwire side and the Sammy Sosa side. Everyone wanted to be like the two famous sluggers. I was on the Sammy Sosa side.
No matter who you wanted to win the home run battle, it was fun to watch and the chase to 62 helped the game of baseball greatly. At the time, fans assumed that steroids were being used around baseball. This past Monday, Mark McGwire confirmed that steroids were indeed being used.
McGwire admitted to using steroids the last decade of his career, including the 1998 season when he hit 70 home runs and rewrote baseball history. He claims that he only used the drugs for health related reasons and that they had little to no effect on how he hit the ball. McGwire went on to later say that he "wished he never played in baseball's steroid era."
McGwire was recently hired as the St. Louis Cardinal's hitting coach. Some say that the only reason he came clean about all of this is so that he could do his job without being hammered by reporters about steroids. That seems a little ridiculous, because when spring training rolls around he will be surrounded by people questioning his steroid use. While all of the attention on McGwire could hurt the team during spring training, it will all come down to how he handles the situation in the next couple of months.
All of this poses the question—should McGwire be in the Hall of Fame?
I think that if you take away the huge factor of steroids, Mark McGwire had one of the greatest swings of all time. The Hall of Fame is a place to remember baseball's history, and McGwire is a huge part the game's past, as is Sammy Sosa. The home run battle was one of the most watched battles in baseball history.
I am not saying that McGwire should indeed be in the Hall of Fame. What I am saying is that there are a few things that need to be put into play. Like I said, McGwire is a huge part of the history of the game. However, he did use an illegal substance and now will always be known as a "cheater."
Would you vote him in?