Baseball Hall of Fame

Fair or Foul?

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Baseball Hall of Fame

SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD

SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD

SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD

Steven Bettler, Staff Writer

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For years, the steroid era has been a black mark on the history of Major League Baseball, and now it is affecting the Hall of Fame voting. Players who are viewed as “juicers,” such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, may never be in the Hall of Fame because of their role in the most infamous era in baseball history. Despite that, many believe that they still belong in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.

The steroid era, which began around the mid 90’s (and has not officially ended), helped create some of baseball’s most recognizable names, but not always for the right reasons. Bonds holds the all-time home run record, but many would put an asterisk beside that accomplishment. Clemens is regarded as one of the greatest pitchers of the past 50 years, but his statistics are also under heavy scrutiny.

In their second year of Hall of Fame eligibility, however, both had fewer votes than they did in their first year of eligibility. This is not uncommon for many players, but none with the caliber or legacy that these two stars possess. The question has become, what will happen to these icons?

There is no precedent for this situation. The voters have no idea how to handle these players, so they are making it up as they go along. Many argue that, despite their accomplishments, these two men would not have earned their Hall of Fame position if they had not used steroids. This argument may be valid, but when looking at their pre-steroids numbers, it is not out of the question that they would have had Hall of Fame worthy careers.

The debate is not likely to end anytime soon (we are sure to hear it for at least the next 13 years that Bonds and Clemens are on the ballot), and it may never really end. It does not seem likely that either of these icons will ever be inducted into Cooperstown. Some fans believe this is for the best, but there will always be those that believe that the Hall of Fame will never be complete without these two legends enshrined into its walls.