This past Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Committee was tasked with their annual responsibility of voting in the class of 2013 to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. This year’s ballot featured a slew of record-breaking stars—including the likes of seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, home run king Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. With all of this star power lined up to receive 75 per cent of the vote in order to be enshrined forever in Cooperstown, New York, many might be surprised at the voting committee’s decision to not induct any of the eligible candidates this year.
However, I am not one of those people. Though it is true these players defined baseball excellence when they were playing, each of the four listed above were the poster boys for the baseball era tainted by the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. Yes, it can be argued that despite their use of steroids, it would be ludicrous to keep the all-time home run leader and the winner of the most Cy Young awards in MLB history away from Cooperstown—but accepting the likes of Bonds and Clemens on their first ballot would just be endorsing the fact that the use steroids is okay as long as you play like a superstar. Additionally, stars have been kept out of the Hall of Fame for a lot less than this. A perfect example of this is Pete Rose. Rose had one of the most decorated careers in baseball—boasting the record for most hits of all time. However, Rose has been kept out of Cooperstown for betting on his team while he was the manager. That’s right, the most decorated hitter in baseball history is not in the Hall of Fame for betting while he wasn’t even a player.
I completely agree with the committee’s decision to keep the stars of this 2013 ballot out of the Hall of Fame. It would not be smart to induct the stars of the steroid era on their first ballot. Perhaps, in a couple years, the likes of Clemens and Bonds can be inducted, but for this baseball fan, I am glad it is not this year.