MLB Athletes of the Steroid Era

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Cade Emmenderfer, Journalist

Athletes of the Steroid Era are missing out on being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I believe that even with the fact they did steroids they should still be in the Hall of Fame.

The Steroid Era was an era of Major League Baseball (MLB) from the late 1980s to mid to late 2000s. Steroids were banned in 1991 from the MLB, but league-wide testing did not start till 2003. According to ESPN “in the 90s there was an increase in offensive output.” There’s no doubt the steroids helped with hitting the ball hard and far, but a player can take steroids and still be an average player. From personal experience, baseball is a sport where strength and power matter, but so does one’s baseball IQ. In baseball, an athlete has to be willing to work and practice. Hitting a baseball is arguably one of the hardest things in sports. Yes, steroids would help the ball travel, but one has to be able to actually hit the ball.

Forty people were surveyed and asked if they believe athletes from the steroid era should be in the hall of fame. Of the forty surveyed, 16 said they should be in the Hall of Fame, 15 said it depended on the athlete, and 9 said they should not be in the hall of fame. The people surveyed were also asked why or why not they believe the athletes should be in the Hall of Fame. One answer from Cape Central Baseball Coach Justin Lieser stuck out to me. “I believe the Hall of Fame is a museum of baseball. I believe that it should be noted on the plaques of the players that they were involved in a scandal during their playing career.” I agree with Lieser completely. The idea of a Hall of Fame is to celebrate baseball even through bad times. The Hall of Fame shouldn’t leave out the mistakes baseball players made simply because the MLB is embarrassed by the way it was handled. The MLB allowed players to use performance-enhancing drugs for years until 2003 when the MLB implemented drug testing. The players simply took advantage of an opportunity thrown right in front of them. When an organization doesn’t enforce a rule, people will break it; it’s as simple as that.

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa made the 1998 season remarkable by giving us what we call the home run race. The Home Run Race of 1998, was the race to beat Roger Maris’ single-season home run record of 61 home runs. No one ever came close to beating the record for 37 years until McGwire beat out Sosa with 70 home runs to Sosa’s 66 in 1998. Then the record was broken again 3 years later in 2001 when Barry Bonds broke the record with 73 home runs. Bonds also broke the all-time record in 2007. Hank Aaron held the all-time home run title for 33 years with 755 home runs. Bonds finished with 762. No doubt exist that steroids helped these players crush the ball, but it still led to multiple records broken; the MLB should celebrate that. It’s now almost impossible for a player to get away with performance-enhancing drug use. Therefore, I think the MLB should bring the players of this era into the Hall of Fame, but they should label these players as players who used performance-enhancing drugs.