Tomorrow we get to see who was picked for this year’s class baseball HOF class. The list of players on the ballot is impressive, some of the biggest names and numbers of any group on a single ballot. It should be fun, but a single word took all that away. Steroids.
In the interest of full disclosure I thought Mark McGwire should have been a first balloter. I don’t want to argue the point about whether or not known/admitted steroid users should go in the HOF. I want to focus on the potential abuse of power by some of the HOF voters.
But there are some out there that suspect he used steroids. Now there is no proof, it is speculation based on the fact he played during the period when MLB chose to look the other way on the issue and he hit a lot of homeruns.
Baseball more than any other sports is connected to it’s past. Guys like Ruth, Mantle and Cobb are still very much a part of the game. Memories of our first trips to the park are vivid and help tie fans to the game. But this connection to the past is also a problem. We tend to remember the past with rose-colored glasses. This includes many voters.
There are voters that refuse to pick anyone, as a first ballot HOFer because they feel no one is that good. There have been voters that have gone on record to say that since guys like Babe Ruth weren’t unanimous picks no one should be. This is just silly.
Back to the guilt by association deal.
Piazza may very well get voted in, but one guy has paid the price for speculation by some voters.
Granted he was never a surefire lock, but still you can’t help but think his failure to get enough votes is in part due to an unfounded connection to steroids.
I am just tired of all the judgment by stuffy old writers singing the praise of older players that had just as many faults as the guys they call cheaters.