The 2013 MLB Hall of Fame Class: The Biggest Group of Cheaters Ever Assembled?

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IApril 26, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 12:  Batting coach Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Cardinals 13-8.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is a place where only the game’s greatest players are forever enshrined beyond the indelible mark they have already left upon us.

But many feel baseball’s forever hallowed ground is about to be desecrated with the upcoming 2013 Hall of Fame class.

Players such as Don Mattingly, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris have waited well over a decade for an induction by the BBWAA. They are players that many feel personify baseball in every positive way.

“Donnie Baseball” was the face of the Yankees organization for over 14 years and both Jack Morris and Alan Trammell gave the motor city a decade and a half full of memorable years.

But players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio spark other memories in most fans:

  • Broken records that many suspected were the byproduct of steroid abuse.
  •  Scandalous personal embarrassments that have all but destroyed any form of credibility.
  •  A certain “king” who seemingly took just as many pitches to the body as he did over the plate.
  • A curious player whose bloody sock can only be overshadowed by his famous conflicts with players, management and the media.

It is these collected curiosities that have many fans asking one simple question: Do these players even deserve a place in baseball’s “heaven”?

And it is these collected curiosities—and others—that has many asking whether or not this is the biggest group of cheaters ever assembled.

Some may say yes. Others may say we simply don’t know.

But in the grand scheme of things, it is the principle of the matter that ultimately comes under fire with the aforementioned.

The famous Ernie Harwell once said: "Baseball just a came as simple as a ball and bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion."

Doesn’t the spirit of the game become compromised in the face of questionable character? Doesn’t the “religion” of the game become meaningless and victimized in the face of deception?

And subsequently, doesn’t the spirit of the fan and their sacred sanctity become violated?

Well, in a way, yes.

Many feel this is the biggest collection of cheaters ever assembled and with good reason.

The consensus is, inducting some of these players would be a slap in the face to the fans, and a total disregard to the accomplishments of the great ones before them.

Others feel, however, that their accomplishments simply can’t be ignored even in the face of their individual idiosyncrasies and troubles.

A true line drawn in the sand.

In the end, some of these players will probably not even receive a percentage of the vote, and that will be good enough for the many, but for the few, nothing will be good enough until their names are permanently removed from any such consideration.

Is it the biggest group of cheaters ever assembled? In a manner of speaking, yes.

Why?

Because in the end, deception is an act of selfishness and some of these players personify such actions.

As Charels de Montesquieu so eloquently put it: “To become truly great, one has to stand with the people, not above them.”