Mark McGwire Met the Integrity Clause, Now Vote Him into the Hall of Fame

Harold FriendChief Writer INovember 7, 2011

23 Sep 1998: (FILE PHOTO)  Mark McGwire #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits the ball during the game against the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. According to reports January 11, 2010, McGwire has admitted to steroid use during while playing Major League baseball and when he broke the home run record.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Mark Twain said it best: “America is a nation without a distinct criminal class...with the possible exception of Congress."

Mark McGwire refused to talk to Mark Twain's possible criminal class in 2005. He explained to Bob Costas, one of the few individuals in the media with integrity, that he wanted to come clean but that he refused to lie.

“I was not going to lie,” McGwire said. “I wanted to tell the truth.

Hey, wasn't a recent United States President impeached on a perjury charge?  Never mind.

Mark McGwire never lied to Congress.

“My lawyers were downstairs trying to get immunity for me,” McGwire said. “I wanted to talk. I kept telling myself, ‘I want to get this off my chest.’ Well, we didn’t get immunity."

McGwire was crushed by the moans when he repeatedly refused to discuss his steroid use, but based on the legal advice he was given, he had to protect his family and friends. Only remaining silent could accomplish that, at least for a while.

On Jan. 11, 2010, McGwire came clean. Speaking to the media, McGwire said:

It’s something I’m certainly not proud of. I’m certainly sorry for having done it. Someday, somehow, somewhere I knew I’d probably have to talk about this. I guess the steppingstone was being offered the hitting-coach job with the Cardinals. At that time, I said, ‘I need to come clean about this.’ 

Mark McGwire has expressed great remorse, which is required of those who dare to transgress. He apologized to the Maris family and told Bob Costas that using steroids was the most regrettable thing he had ever done.

There is an integrity clause that is supposed to guide Hall of Fame voters. It has been in existence since the Hall of Fame opened in 1939.

How has the integrity clause affected the election of commissioner Judge Kenesaw Landis (racist), Charles Comiskey (contributed to the Black Sox scandal),Tris Speaker (accused of attempting to fix games), Ty Cobb (racist), John McGraw (cheater), Tom Yawkey (racist), Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton and Whitey Ford (cheaters) and finally, Paul Molitor and Ferguson Jenkins (drug abusers).

McGwire's problem is that his cheating was both long and short-range.

The players mentioned above cheated most of their careers. The records they set were achieved over long periods of time, but some great players who used steroids broke sacred single-season records, which raised suspicions.

McGwire hit 70 home runs to destroy Roger Maris' single-season home record. Then Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs to surpass McGwire. Maris beat Babe Ruth by one home run. McGwire hit 10 more home runs than Maris and Bonds hit 13 more.

When Major League Baseball and the player's union finally acknowledged the "problem," lip service" had to be given to attempts to eliminate steroid use.

It's hard to believe that past Hall of Fame voters were not aware of the racists and cheaters they elected. That was wrong. The argument that Ty Cobb couldn't be denied Hall of Fame entry is ridiculous in light of Pete Rose.

Mark McGwire used a performance enhancing method that those in power frown upon. Roger Clemens' unbelievable workouts were lauded until he became suspect.

Exercise and using "approved" substances are encouraged. Using cortisone, a steroid, to alleviate sore arms is encouraged. But using Growth Hormone, a natural substance produced by the pituitary gland, is not allowed.

What a bunch of garbage.