After the latest baseball Hall of Fame voting, I have to say that I find it funny and outright unacceptable that the voters allow racists into the Hall of Fame, yet want to pull the integrity card out when it comes to the steroid era.
His contemporary influence and prestige are regarded by historians as playing a major role in establishing the racial segregation in professional baseball that persisted until the late 1940s. A 2006 biography of Anson that exhaustively examined 19th-century newspaper reporting related to him on the subject of racism reached the following conclusion: “As far as the nineteenth century, he rightfully should endure as the big leaguer who, until the late 1940s, was involved in the greatest number of reported negative incidents, on the field, relating to blacks.” On several occasions, Anson refused to take the field when the opposing roster included black players. “But at the same time, his argumentative nature could be readily discounted by those around him.
If this is true, who had a more negative impact on the game of baseball—Cap Anson, or a PED user? I’m not saying that Anson should not be in the Hall of Hame, because whether I agree with his behavior or not, this was unfortunatley accepted during that time.
But had there not been segregation, wouldn’t the players numbers be altered due to the fact that the white players at that time were not playing against the highest level of competition?
I’m also not saying that players should be forgiven for the use of illegal PEDs. However, this goes to show that not only should players be voted on based on their performance on the field, but also the era they played in.
There are different eras in baseball, to try and act as if the steroid era didn’t exist would be like trying to erase history. Baseball doesn’t have to be proud of the era, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. All the blame is cast on the players, but underneath it all was a game that was struggling for viewers and offense—don’t tell me for a second that team and league executives did not know this was happening under their nose.
The men on the Hall of Fame ballots would still have been the best players of their generation had they not been suspected of PED use. Not to mention, there are reports that 90% of players were using PEDs during the time that these players were playing. Again, rather than flat out ban these players from the hall of fame, vote them in as part of the steroid era, learn from the past mistakes, but don’t try to wipe it under the carpet by not voting men in on suspicions.
One other thing—players that test positive for PEDs are given a 50-game suspension. A 50-game suspension for actually testing positive, and not voting a player into the Hall of Fame due to suspicion of PEDs are on two completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
I wonder if a player that was ever suspended for PED use will be voted into the hall of fame, since they would have already have been punished for their crimes?