Should Barry Bonds join the Hall of Fame?
The image of Barry Bonds crushing a homerun ten rows back is as awe-inspiring as it is controversial. The man was the face of baseball for perhaps its most infamous period, the Steroid Era. While he has missed the cut for his first eight years of Hall of Fame eligibility, it is now time to enshrine his career among the other legends who reside in Cooperstown.
Barry Bonds was undoubtedly one of the ten best hitters in the history of baseball before he started taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). He hit 411 home runs before beginning to take steroids in 1998. He hit 40 big flies in the previous two years before 1998 and drove in 129 runs in 1996 and 101 in 1997. This is indicative of a no-brainer hall of fame career PED free. Everybody in the late 90s and early 2000s was taking PEDs. It is not an era that is looked upon kindly in Major League history. Nevertheless, it occurred and is relevant. The Hall of Fame's purpose is to tell the story of baseball. It's an ever-expanding museum of America's Pastime. The Hall of Fame would be remiss if it did not include this titan of the sport.
Even while taking PED's, the second half of Bond's career was incredible. There is a common saying, 'the hardest thing to do in sports is hit a baseball'. To hit as Bonds did in the last nine years of his career was inhuman. Breaking the single vaulted season and career home run records deserve a hall of fame bout. While the numbers themselves deserve an asterisk, Barry Bonds deserves a plaque in Cooperstown.
Major League Baseball cannot allow Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame. Doing so would enable players to justify their cheating efforts.
Many may argue that because steroid use is the new standard, Bonds should not be punished. However, the use of PED's (Performance Enhancing Drugs) creates a competitive edge that should not be allowed in baseball. This trend is alarming, consisting of 62 suspensions over 4400 games handed out by the MLB since Bonds' retirement in 2007.
The MLB can't pick and choose who they should and shouldn't let in. Great players like Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez are admitted PED users. If Bonds is allowed into the Hall of Fame, the MLB needs to accept these players too. Their careers more than warrant a trip to Cooperstown, but their actions off the field do not.
Pete Rose was banned by the MLB for life because he was gambling on baseball during his career. Rose didn't use PED's to get ahead, so they should let him in too, right? The guy only had 4,256 hits and was probably one of the purest hitters in the game. Yet, he didn't cheat to gain an advantage over his competitors.
There are plenty of reasons why Barry Bonds should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame, and letting him in will create a ripple effect that Major League Baseball won't be able to control. Allowing a person that compromised the game's integrity and gained a competitive advantage through a chemical cocktail would set a precedence that MLB should avoid.
- Even though Barry Bonds is the “all-time home run and walks leader,” he has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame the first 7 times that he was on the ballot because of his steroid controversy.
- Bonds’ alleged steroid use supposedly came as a reaction to the fact that others were using and he wanted to keep up. It began in 1998 under trainer Greg Anderson.
- Prosecutors said the documents detailed Bonds' use of a long list of drugs: human growth hormone, Depo-Testosterone, 'the cream' and 'the clear,' insulin and even Clomid, a female fertility drug. The initialed documents are dated from 2001 through 2003. Bonds denied using the drugs and said he had never seen the documents before.
- Bonds set the single season home run record with 73 back in 2001. He averaged one home run every 2.1 games that season.
- A detailed report of Bonds’ life, history, and potential drug use is listed here.