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It is virtually certain that there are already steroids users in the Hall of Fame

Jan 7, 2011, 6:04 AM EDT

Bowie Kuhn

As BBWAA voters try their hardest to ensure that no filthy steroids users sneak into the Hall of Fame, it’s probably a good idea that they go back and read the Mitchell Report. As they do, they should pay special attention to this passage on page 28:

In 1973, a Congressional subcommittee announced that its staff had completed an “in depth study into the use of illegal and dangerous drugs in sports” including professional baseball.  The subcommittee concluded that “the degree of improper drug use – primarily amphetamines and anabolic steroids – can only be described as alarming.”

Steroids. In 1973.  Senator Mitchell went on:

Subcommittee chairman Harley O. Staggers called on professional sports leagues to adopt “stringent penalties for illegal use. … In response, Commissioner Kuhn issued a statement announcing that, as a result of its education and prevention efforts, baseball had “no significant problem” with drug use, and he referred to recent private comments by chairman Staggers who reportedly “commended baseball’s drug program as the best and most effective of its kind in sports.”

No significant problems, says Commissioner Kuhn. Great testing program, says Congressman Staggers. This at the height of amphetamine use in baseball, just prior to the cocaine explosion, and after anabolic steroids were already specifically mentioned by Congress as being a problem in all sports, baseball included. This is the same Commissioner Kuhn, mind you, who was elected to the Hall of Fame less than two weeks prior to the Mitchell Report’s release in 2007.  And of course there’s this:

[Tom] House, later an accomplished pitching coach with Texas and now co-founder of the National Pitching Association near San Diego, said performance- enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and ’70s.

The upshot of all of this is that if anyone thinks for a second that there isn’t already a player in the Hall of Fame who used steroids, they’re deluding themselves.  There almost certainly is.  In light of this, the moral stance currently being taken by the writers is even more ridiculous than it seems on the surface.

  1. offseasonblues - Jan 8, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Since we can’t do anything about all the players that are in the HOF that shouldn’t be, maybe MLB and the HOF should just replace “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”, and the voters asked to apply that standard, with a computer generated magic number that a player either achieves or doesn’t achieve.

    That might or might not allow Bagwell in. It would surely allow Bonds in. It would also allow me to take Cooperstown off my bucket list and save me a few dollars.

  2. alvy21 - May 19, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    The evidence of the so-called Congressional sub-committee is never cited in any specific form. Later on Tom House is the only person related to the game making any statement with no specifics about anabolic steroids in the 60’s and 70’s. The headline is therefor misleading and a cheap shot at many of the athletes in the HOF who played at that time that never did steroids.

    This is just more disinformation to make the steroid boys of today seem ok. If there was steroid use in the 60’s and 70’s then let’s see the evidence. Certainly the proof of this sub-committee is not classified. What is even more laughable is that there were never any cases in the 60’s or 70’s where you saw players suddenly bulking up and having abnormal stats. In fact the decade of the 60’s is often considered the second dead-ball era due to the low hitting stats. The seventies was not much better with only one person in the whole decade of the 70’s hitting more than 50 home runs only one time.

    A sad and sorrily misleading article. Has as much bearing as the Bush statements about WMD’s in Iraq.

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