Skip to content

A reminder: there is almost certainly a current Hall of Famer who used PEDs

Aug 6, 2013, 10:31 AM EDT


And I’m not even talking about greenies or horse liniment or whatever old school product that enhanced performance even if people today want to act like it didn’t. I’m talking about steroids or HGH or PEDs in that general category.  We like to pretend that there isn’t anyone who did that before Jose Canseco, but that’s almost certainly false.

Evidence? For one thing there was Thomas Boswell in Ken Burns’ “Baseball” documentary update “The Tenth Inning,” who said that he personally witnessed a current Hall of Famer take a PED-laden shake:

“There was another player now in the Hall of Fame who literally stood with me and mixed something and I said “What’s that?” and he said “it’s a Jose Canseco milkshake”. And that year that Hall of Famer hit more home runs than ever hit any other year. So it wasn’t just Canseco, and so one of the reasons that I thought that it was an important subject was that it was spreading. It was already spreading by 1988.”

Everyone forgets that and Boswell tends to keep pretty silent about that come Hall of Fame voting time in December.

Then, just last night came this interesting tidbit from Patty Blyleven, first wife of Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, from Ross Newhan’s Facebook page just last night:


No, I do not consider Patty Blyleven to be an authoritative source on such matters. She may be passing things along third hand for all we know. But it’s naive in the extreme to think that the first ballplayer to ever take PEDs and then try to enter the Hall of Fame was Mark McGwire or someone of his era.

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. supercapitalista - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Boy, there’s a lot of confusion about race. Get this straight. Latinos come in all races and mixes thereof. Latino or Hispanic is NOT a race. Sosa is black, although he’s bleached himself lately, a la Michael Jackson. A Rod is also black, though with some European White Spanish blood, Nelson Cruz is also mostly of African heritage, Jose Canseco is white as he comes from European Spanish stock born in Cuba, Palmeiro is white for the same reason. Current young players: Cespedes is black and comes from Cuba. The kid pitcher phenom for the Marlins Jose Fernandez is also from Cuba, but is white. Cabrera is mostly Venezuelan Indian with some African. Just saying.

    • geodude11 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      “Just saying” is what someone says to let everyone listening know they are clueless. On race, go back further, we all have a common origin in Africa. On African-Americans, I haven’t met one that’s been to Africa.

      • supercapitalista - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        geodude, clueless is far from what I am on the subject. Perhaps you could do a little more research before accusing another of being clueless. For a long while, evidence seemed to point to a common ancestor for all Cro-Magnums, and that origin may have been in East Africa. However, we later distributed ourselves to different geographies and developed some superficial physical differences, some functional differences in adapting to differing environments and internal gene variation differences. The Cro-Magnon man that went in search of new homes can’t be considered African in the sense that we associate a person with that designation today. They certainly weren’t West African or black. Even today some experts believe that origin may be in the Middle East instead. Now, just within the last couple of years, with the mapping of human DNA and correlating it with Neanderthal DNA, we have discovered that Caucasians and Asians have some 2 to 4% Neanderthal DNA. Africans, interestingly, without admixture with Caucasians or Asians do not have Neanderthal genes. So, now the pure “Out of Africa” model is not so pure. Has that Neanderthal exchange accounted for some racial differences, maybe, not sure. While we’re all more or less the same, there are some differences. Maybe one day we stop classifying ourselves in racial terms, but for the moment, the observations I made about Latinos are indeed valid and are not made by a “clueless”, though admittedly proud partially Neanderthal, person.

  2. tflakey - Aug 7, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    According to a new national poll, 63% of American’s support banning players who have used steroids more than one from the hall of fame I don’t think this generation of players will have such an easy time getting into the HOF. Even those with no evidence of PED use will be scrutinized, simply because they played in the “steroid era” Case in point: Mike Piazza.

  3. Haruko Haruhara - Oct 31, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    No proof, but two guys who had suspicious upticks in their numbers very late in their careers were Carlton Fisk (37 HRs at age 37, when his next highest season was 26 HRs) and Fisk continued to hit 23 HRs at 39, 19 HRs at 40, 18 HRs at 42 and 43. And Nolan Ryan, who led the league in strikeouts at age 40-43 after he had had several subpar seasons before that.

    Steroids were around back in their day.

    No proof, just have thought for some times these are suspicious numbers.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. B. Crawford (2864)
  2. C. Correa (2672)
  3. Y. Puig (2595)
  4. G. Stanton (2574)
  5. G. Springer (2546)
  1. H. Pence (2420)
  2. H. Ramirez (2273)
  3. J. Hamilton (2253)
  4. M. Teixeira (2211)
  5. J. Baez (2129)