The PED Era is getting another chance at the MLB Hall of Fame.
The Contemporary Era player’s ballot was announced on Monday with few surprises. Eight players – Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, and Curt Schilling – are getting another chance at immortality, provided that they can garner 12 votes from the 16 member panel.
Hall of Fame cannot avoid PED Era
There are some notable players that did not make this list. The likes of Lou Whitaker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Dwight Evans, and Keith Hernandez were unable to come up for consideration, showing the backlog of talent that needs to be looked at.
But this ballot is also a referendum on the PED Era. Palmeiro fell off the ballot due to a failed PED test, one he claims was from a tainted b-12 injection he received from Miguel Tejada, despite being one of seven players to record 3000 hits and 500 homers in their careers. Bonds is one of the greatest players in MLB history statistically, the all time and single season home run leader while being the only member of the 400-400 and 500-500 clubs, but fell short. The same can be said about Clemens as one of the top pitchers in the game, a seven time Cy Young winner and the 1986 AL MVP.
Belle may not have the same PED taint, but there are questions surrounding him as well. His anger issues had been considered to be evidence of PED usage although there has not been any evidence of his doing so. However, his corked bat colors the perception of his career and a degenerative hip condition that ended his playing days at 33 years old left his numbers wanting.
If any of the players linked to PEDs are going to be inducted, this may be their best chance. The group of people voting know what these players were like, how it felt to be facing off against them. It is a chance for the game to potentially move on, as Bonds, Clemens, and other PED tainted players would largely fade away from the public eye if that happened. Until then, the PED Era is going to be a thorn in their side.
The 2023 Contemporary Era player’s ballot was announced on Monday. With that announcement, the PED Era is back in the spotlight.