Steroid Users in Hall of Fame

Russ HartleyContributor IJune 8, 2009

Many would say that steroids in baseball have put a black eye on the sport. I would have to agree with this statement, seeing how new faces of superstars are now facing steroid allegations.

I am here to explain why players that face these charges should be entered into the Hall of Fame, based on their numbers as active players. I am also going to explain why an asterisk should never be used in the Hall of Fame.

As you read on, I want to remind you that steroid use is cheating, and I don’t—and never will—defend steroids.

This spring, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez faced steroid allegations and immediately pleaded guilty to these charges. After these facts were in place (that he tested positive for steroid use in 2003), he came clean, saying he used steroids from 2001-2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers.

Lately, there has been speculation whether those were the only times he took performance enhancing drugs. These questions still need to be answered. There also has been talk of A-Rod, the best active player in baseball, not being accepted into the Hall of Fame because of the steroid use.

If it were up to me, I would put Alex Rodriguez and every player who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame into the Hall of Fame, regardless of any steroid accusations.

Ask yourself this: “Why are steroids wrong in baseball?” My answer is because steroids give a player an advantage over another player, whether it’s in a game or the record book.

I think most of you would agree with that statement. Advantages in baseball and all other sports are used every day and in every game. Whether that is steroids or anything else.

If steroids should count someone out of the Hall of Fame, then any other player caught using an advantage over another player or record should also be stripped of his Hall of Fame honors or be forbidden from entering the Hall.

If anyone is seen using pine tar, he should never be allowed to be in the Hall of Fame because he is putting a substance on the ball that will either make the ball go faster or get a better grip on the bat. That is an advantage over other players and other records.

If someone is seen using a corked bat, he shouldn’t be allowed into the Hall of Fame because that is an advantage over another player or record.

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt confessed to using amphetamines during his years as a baseball player. Amphetamines are energy boosting substances used to enhance a player's performance. That is why they are banned today in the MLB.

Schmidt is said to be “the greatest third baseman ever to play baseball.” Even though he used amphetamines, he is in the Hall of Fame. That doesn’t make sense to me.

Babe Ruth played on one of the smallest fields during his home run record seasons. Playing in a smaller ball park is an advantage over the home run record. If you are going to put an asterisk next to Barry Bonds, put an asterisk next to Ruth, as he had an advantage over the home run record, just like Bonds did.

All past pitchers who played on mounds higher than the mounds today should also have an asterisk next to their names and records. The MLB lowered the mound because the higher mounds gave the pitcher an advantage over the batter.

Advantages in baseball, whether it is steroids, amphetamines, pine tar, corked bats, smaller ball parks, or higher mounds, will be used every day. If you asterisk a player or keep a player out of the Hall of Fame for taking steroids, then take out or put an asterisk next to every player who has ever used an advantage over another player.

Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton is said to be a hero by many of the fans around the MLB. Hamilton is a recovered drug abuser and alcoholic who has come back to baseball. He has produced magnificently this year and last year following his drug recovery.

This player, who used illegal drugs, is said to be a hero, but someone that used steroids is a cheater. Josh Hamilton, a past cocaine addict, is a hero; Barry Bonds, an alleged steroid user, is a cheater.

These are the thoughts around baseball and the fans. Many people would say that Hamilton used illegal drugs, but he didn’t cheat, and Bonds did.

That’s true, but who does a player using steroids hurt? Himself.

Who does a player using illegal drugs, such as cocaine, hurt? Himself, his family, friends, teammates, and everyone else around him.

But to the baseball fans, it is better to take illegal drugs instead of steroids. That does not make any sense to me.

Fans are so against steroids because the thought of injecting a substance into a person’s body is so terrible the player shouldn’t be allowed into the Hall of Fame. But steroids are an advantage over another player or record, and advantages are used all over baseball.

So, if you take a player out of the Hall of Fame because of steroids, then take out every player who had anything to do with having an advantage over a record or another player.

Having an asterisk does nothing to a player, because whether an asterisk is there or not, a person still knows who they are and what they did.

The Hall of Fame should be based on a player’s performance, not his character.