The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Steroids Have No Place in the Hall of Fame

The Baseball Hall of Fame chose to induct none of the 29 eligible players on the ballot on Wednesday, January 9.  The players snubbed include Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.  Based on statistics alone, all of the players could be Hall of Famers; however, an athlete’s statistics aren’t the only factor in the decision.

This move is a clear message sent by the Baseball Writers of America that a player must not only be a great player on the field, but also a role model.  A player shouldn’t win by means that are not fair.  It’s now clear that steroid users have little to no chance in making it to the Hall of Fame for many years to come, a move which I fully support.

Many people argue that players should be admitted into the Hall of Fame based solely on their numbers on the field and not what they do off of it.  Although Cooperstown includes all pieces of baseball history, including Bonds’ record-breaking home run ball, a player being inducted is a different story from a moment being captured within the Hall.

An inducted player represents a player of the highest class.  A player that is meant to be remembered, and someone that future players should look up to.  Roberto Clemente was a player who paved the way for Puerto Rican players in the league, dying in a plane crash that was carrying supplies to aid earthquake victims in Nicaragua.  Jackie Robinson was the man who broke the color barrier, and never lashed out at any man who taunted him.

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Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth may have had rough lives off the field but gave it their all when on it.  Cobb was an over-the-top racist off the field, but while on it he would outhustle any man put before him.  He played until his feet bled and asked for more.  Babe Ruth was an adulteror, but he brought a show to every fan in the stadium, belting shots that no other man could.

The one thing none of those men did was cheat.  None injected a drug that could make him lift like Hercules.  Bonds, McGuire, Clements and Sosa apparently did.  They tainted a game in a way that hadn’t happened before; they ruined an era.  Other players felt forced to take the same drugs, and the Major Leagues turned into the Wild West as officials sat aside, watching money roll in for the long ball.
For a player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he has to live up to a standard that is preset by baseball.  Although the game cannot always be fair, players should hold themselves accountable, regardless of their opponents’ actions.

Baseball is a childhood sport that holds each player to something bigger than himself.  A man does not exceed by playing for himself, but for the whole team.  The defense dives for balls to protect their pitcher’s perfect game, and batters turn into 100 mph fastballs so that they can get on the base and allow the man behind them to bring them in.

The players that used steroids did not follow what the game stood for.  They made baseball feel like the WWE, like a bunch of roided-up men putting on a show.  Any steroid user should never be allowed in the Hall of Fame, whether it be the steroid users of the past or those of today.

If I ever have a son, I hope that I can take him to Cooperstown one day and show him the players I want him to look up to.  Players like Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken Jr.  I want him to learn what hard work is and how those men played the game with their whole heart.  Barry Bonds left me dreaming as a child of how I could just swing at any ball and knock it out of the park.  He left me broken-hearted when I learned that he had cheated–he, who I had believed had held himself to a higher standard.  I never want my son to look up to a man like that, nor do I want our future generations to be in similar situations.

Keep the Hall of Fame clean.  Its members are meant to be strong leaders, not men who use unfair methods to win.

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