Updated: Dec 21, 2020
In today's piece, we will be looking at some of the most iconic names to use steroids to enhance their game. This is an in my opinion piece, so this is who I think should make it into the Hall of Fame regardless of their PED actions. I will be looking at stats and career accolades.
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Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod. Over a 22 year career. He carries a 117.5 WAR, 696HR(4th all-time),295BA,3115H, 2086RBI. 3x MVP winner, 14x All-Star, 2009WS, he carried the Yankees too. 2x Gold Glove, 10x Silver Slugger, 1x batting title, 3x ML PoY. Also, to me, he has one of the best swings I have ever seen. Even as he got older, his swing was always fantastic to view. Also, in 2015 was a huge part of my first fantasy baseball championship. He did admit to using PED between 2001-2003 and was suspended for 2014 due to the Biogenesis scandal. I am on the side that his stats and how he has paid his due. He is a changed person. He had an incredible career and should once be eligible in 2022, more than likely to get in during his eligibility.
>Mark McGwire, I honestly think, was snubbed out of the HOF after 2016 and wasn't given a fair shot. Arguably one of THE best power hitters set a record for HR in a season with 70 in 1998. Alone by 62.2WAR is month top 12 1B of all TIME. Add 1626H, 583HR, 1414RBI, ROY award, 12x All-Star, 1989WS ring, 1 Gold Glove, and 3x Silver Slugger. All over 16 years. Now I think he would have made it into the HOF had to not said that PEDs were only a feature of his game, which was played between 1986 and 2001. I think he had been more honest and confessed.
We would see in Cooperstown where he deserves to be.
Sammy Sosa- one of my favorite players in baseball video games as a kid. It's harder for Sosa because of ties to McGwire, and his support level shows that he is only getting 13.9% of the vote after eight years on the ballot. Sosa still denies ever using PEDs. His HR numbers are his biggest accomplishment, having had 3 60+ HR seasons in a row. He is the only player to do so. Between 1998 and 2002, he has 292HR. He is also a member of the 600HR club that only features nine players. The rest of his career accolades are among the top 20 RF in terms of WAR at 58.6. He has one MVP, 7x All-Star, 6x Silver and Slugger, and an ML PoY award. Overall between 93-04, he hit at least 25HR a season. That long run among the best power hitters in baseball shows me that he was one of the best to do it. I think he deserves to get into the HOF.
Rafael Palmeiro is the next player. Palmeiro was first on the ballots in 2001. In 2004, he lost his spot due to not getting 5% of the vote to stay on. He was implicated by Conseco in Feb of 2005 and denied his usage. Then he tested positive in August of that year and was suspended. In 2017 Palermeiro went back on the record, saying that he had three negative tests during an arbitration hearing. His positive test caught him off guard. Palmeiro was one of those guys in his 20-year career that was consistently good but never great. He is one of 6 players ever with 3000H and 500HR, and his 71.9 Career WAR ranks 8th among 1B all time. Palmeiro was a 4x All=Star, 3x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger, and an ML PoY award. Overall, Palmeiro, when he was on the ballot, was terrible timing. If he was on the ballot today, I think he is in the HOF by now. I believe in his career, and he should be there.
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Andy Pettitte is the next case. Pettitte was implicated in the Mitchell Report in 2007 and did admit to using HGH in 2002. Part of his confession was that he only used HGH for two days to heal an elbow injury. He did own up to it and said it was an "error in judgment." Information like this does make me think, is there a line between performance-enhancing and performance allowing? Pettitte's real thing is for 18 years in the MLB; he was never the best pitcher in baseball. He never won a CY Young and was only a 3x All-Star. When you look at his postseason stats alone, that's where his case for the HOF shines brightest. The ALL_TIME leader for playoff wins and innings and won 5/8 World Series he pitched in. 60.7 career WAR, which is 12th all-time among LHP. His career was stable 256-153 record, 3.85ERA, 3316 IP, and 1 ALCS MVP. Only two years on the ballot so far, only getting to 11.3% of the vote. This guy deserves more love than that, and by the end of his eligibility, I sure do hope he makes it into the HOF.
Gary Sheffield is up next to bat. In 2004 he admitted to using a PED known as "the cream" while training Barry Bonds during the 01-02 offseason. However, he did go the route of "I didn't know what it was when I used it," then says he was upset when he found out. I give the benefit of the doubt in these situations. BUT, the more significant blemish on his HOF resume is his awful defensive numbers. He does, however, have a great resume with his bat alone. He has more care WAR at 60.5 than fellow RF Vladimir Guerrero, who has a 59.5 career WAR who got in the ballot in 2018 to the HOF. Is also part of the 500HR club with 21 other players. Overall in his career, he had 2689H, 509HR, 292BA, 1676RBI, 9x All-Star, one WS title, 5x Silver Slugger, 1 Batting Title, and 1 ML PoY. After six years on the ballot, e got 30.5# of the vote. I think he will get into the HOF when it's all said and done. He deserves to get in.
David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, only connected to PED, was a failed test in 2003. But he did play about 70% of his career post-2005 era of testing and punishments. He was not ever left alone, though. Bob Nightengale of USA Today said in 2019, "Let me tell you, there's not one player in baseball, not one player, that has been drug-tested more than David Ortiz. I guarantee you that." Ortiz is a legend for so many reasons. His comments after the Boston Bombing are iconic. He then carried the Red Sox to a WS that year. He is one of those guys that was just incredible off the field. To look back at some of his career stats to support his case over 20 years 541HR, 17 postseason HR, his .455BA in 3 world series, he won incredible. He did all this from being a DH as he has the record for most games at 2027. 10x All-Star, 7x Silver Slugger, WS MVP, ALCS MVP. 286 BA, 55.3WAR, 1768RBI. When he gets on the ballot in 2022, it will be his first and last.
Roger Clemens, aka The Rocket alone on his career numbers, is probably the greatest pitcher of All-Time. 24 season between 1984-2007 4916.2IP, 4672SO(3rd on the time list), 138.7WAR. 11x All-Star, SEVEN CY Young awards, and 2 WS rings, two 20K games. Clemens's name was mainly on the Mitchel Report though he never tested positive and was acquitted in 2012. At this same time, even Conseco was skeptical that Clemens ever used. His career stats, only PED or not, are HOF worthy and should have gotten him in 8 years ago. To add to his stats, 354-184 record, 3.12ERA, 2x Triple Crown, 7x ERA Title, All-Star game MVP. How he has only gotten 61% of the vote after eight years is beyond me. It probably will be the most unfair vote to happen if Clemens doesn't end up in the HOF. But I think it is bound to happen. The Rocket deserves his spot in the HOF.
Lastly, the guy we all think of when we start this conversation of PEDs and HOF. Barry Bonds himself. Take the context of the situation out of the discussion. Bonds in the GOAT. 7x MVP, single-season HR record with 73, career HR record of 762, all-time walks leader with 2558, the time leader in intentional walks with 688. his 182oPS+ is 3rd to only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, yet NO one can even think to compete with his 162.8WAR. Let's add in his 2935H, career 298BA, 1996RBI, 514SB, 14x All-Star, 8x Gold Glove, 12x Silver Slugger, 2x Batting Title just an incredible career. Bonds did admit in 2004 using steroids provided by his trainer Greg Anderson and took the route of ignorance. Bonds also realized he wasn't the best character in the clubhouse and dugout, saying, "I'm to blame for the way I was[portrayed] because I was a dumba**." Never testing positive after 2005 or failing a test. After eight years on the ballot getting up to 60.7% of the vote. He and Clemens are two of the best we have and will ever see that their respective positions. Getting to 75% over the next two years is a big jump, but he deserves it. His records will never be broken, at least in my lifetime. Thanks for reading!