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Bonds on deck before breaking Hank Aaron's home run record.
When a player's strike caused the 1994 season and part of the 1995 to be cancelled, it caused even the most hardcore fan to become alienated from the sport. After play resumed, home runs unexpectedly went up, and bodies started to get bigger. As home runs increased, so did fan interest.
The Era reached its peak during the 1998 season when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa became locked in a race to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record. They both broke it, but McGwire did it first. Sosa finished the '98 season with 66 home runs, and McGwire finished the year with 70 home runs. Not only was Maris' record was broken, it was demolished. The next year they passed Maris again, but McGwire's 1998 record stayed intact.
People expected McGwire's record would never be broken in their lifetimes. But it took only three years for that to happen. Barry Bonds hit 73 home run in 2001, but by that time people were starting to smell something fishy. Six years later he broke Hank Aaron's career home run record. People were suspecting players were using steroids but had no evidence other than ridiculously large men and a ton of home runs.
That all changed in 2005 when Jose Canseco released his book entitled Juiced. In the book he revealed the he, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and several others used steroids. After the book was released, Congress held a hearing on the matter. Palmeiro denied that he used steroids to Congress. A few days later it was revealed Palmeiro had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
In a way, the Steroid Era was a big conspiracy. Players wanted to improve their performance and win a big contract when they became free agents. They spread their knowledge of PEDs to others, and eventually drug use became a pandemic in baseball. Owners and other team officials let this go as well, due to the increased ticket sales that were desperately needed after the strike.
If a movie is made about this subject, it should highlight that the main motivator for the perpetrators of this era was fame and money.