Hall Of Fame Hypocrisy: It’s Time to Forgive Players Implicated in PED Scandal

HOUSTON, UNITED STATES: Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants watches 04 October 2001 after hitting homerun number 70 against the Houston Astros at Enron Field in Houston, Texas. Bonds tried Mark McGwire season record of 70 homeruns in a season. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, UNITED STATES: Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants watches 04 October 2001 after hitting homerun number 70 against the Houston Astros at Enron Field in Houston, Texas. Bonds tried Mark McGwire season record of 70 homeruns in a season. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images) /
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Hall of Fame
(Original Caption) 10/1/1961-New York, NY: Roger Maris swings and hits his 61st homer of the season to surpass the all-time high of Babe Ruth and place a new record in the books for the sluggers of the future to shoot at. Maris connected for #61 off righthander Tracy Stallard in the fourth inning of the game against the Red Sox. The ball sailed some 360 feet into the lower right field stands at Yankee Stadium where Ruth himself hit his 60th homer 34 years ago yesterday. The Yankees won 1-0. /

Power explosion

Only twice before the PED Scandal took a strangle hold over baseball had a player hit 60 or more home runs in a single season. The first time was in 1927, when Babe Ruth hit 60 HR. The second time was in 1961, when Roger Maris hit 61 HR.

From 1998 – 2001, the feat was accomplished SIX more times by only THREE players.

  • 1998 – Mark McGwire (71) and Sammy Sosa  (66)
  • 1999 – Mark McGwire (65) and Sammy Sosa (63)
  • 2001 – Barry Bonds (73) and Sammy Sosa (64)

With home runs surging, baseball was making a comeback for the ages. Attendance was up (below), and according to a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, TV revenue began to soar, and franchise values increased.

Mlb_attendance_1950-2013
Mlb_attendance_1950-2013 /

All the while, players began to take the fall for a scandal that would envelope the game for years to come. A scandal that could very well have been prevented by baseball’s higher ups, but was deliberately ignored.

Now, with those same players flooding Hall of Fame ballots, members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) struggle to justify voting for players implicated in the PED scandal into baseball’s Hall of Fame.