A Brief History
On June 12, 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum opened in Cooperstown, New York. The Hall had been established 3 years earlier, and the physical building was dedicated at this time (1939). Despite the 310 players, umpires, managers, and various officials inducted, their ranks are missing some of the biggest stars of all time.
Pete Rose is the all time major league hits leader, and yet he is refused entry based on his admitted involvement in gambling on baseball games, an activity expressly forbidden in virtually any sport. Home run kings Mark McGuire (hit homers more frequently than any other player, ever, including Babe Ruth) and Barry Bonds (hit the most career home runs and has the single season record) are suspected of using steroids and/or other performance enhancing drugs and have so far been ignored by voters. Likewise for Roger “The Rocket” Clemens, winning pitcher in 354 games and 5 time strike out king with 4672 in his career (3rd most all time).
Alex Rodriguez has not yet retired, let alone reached eligible status for consideration, but it is likely he will be snubbed as long as the other admitted or suspected steroid users are snubbed. (Around 8 likely members are kept out by voters due to performance enhancing drugs.)
Other players, such as Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry ruined their career and legacy through the use of illegal drugs, while the Pro Football Hall of Fame still allows OJ Simpson (murder, armed robbery, kidnapping) and Lawrence Taylor (repeated cocaine use) to maintain their enshrined status. The Pro Football Hall of Fame also seems to ignore steroid use.
Question for students (and subscribers): Should Pete Rose and those suspected of steroids be allowed to be elected to the Hall of Fame, or should the example be made and maintained that cheaters do not prosper? All sorts of other seedy characters are already enshrined, why not these? People have strong opinions on this subject. What is yours? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
The Curators. National Baseball Hall of Fame. Scala Arts Publishers Inc., 2006.