Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Fame’

To Be or Not to Be in the Hall of Fame

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Two weeks ago the Chicago chapter of the baseball writers of America (the individuals responsible for voting players into the hall of fame) met to decide if new guidelines were required to vote players into the Hall of Fame. This meeting was a reaction to the increasing number of players who have been linked to using performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). The writers decided that no changes were needed as the current standards already touch upon integrity and those who use banned substances have questionable integrity and thus could be potentially denied entrance into the Hall of Fame. Opinions vary widely on wether players who used PED’s should be allowed into the hall of fame. Many individuals who are for allowing players into the Hall who have used PED’s  have brought up the argument that throughout baseballs history players have used elicit substances that have helped them play the game. Those who are against allowing players in to the Hall believe that PED’s are illegal and against MLB rules and therefore any player caught using these substance should not be allowed into the Hall. Both camps make valid points and making a decision on the correct path is difficult.

One of the prevailing thoughts of those who favor allowing players who have used PED’s into the Hall of Fame is that MLB should embrace such substances as a reality of the game and by allowing their use the playing field will be leveled. Furthermore, throughout the history of the game players have used elicit substances and if players are not allowed in now who have used banned substances what will this say about those who are already in the Hall. The bottom line for many in this camp is that it will be impossible to determine who is clean and who is not and in the process of making this determination the whole system will become clouded and the Hall will become one big mess.

Those against allowing players who have used PED’s into the Hall fame bring up the fact that these substances are banned by baseball and players who use them are in violation of MLB rules. Certainly Pete Rose has Hall of Fame credentials but he is not allowed into the Hall of Fame because he violated the rules. Why should Pete Rose be held accountable for his actions and not those who used a banned substance? Moreover, what kind of example is MLB setting to young children who idolize baseball players by not punishing players who are using PED’s. One cannot deny that baseball players are role models and are under constant scrutiny. If PED’s were openly accepted what kind of tone would this set for our young athletes?

The players are not the only ones culpable in this controversy. Major League Baseball has turned a blind eye for too long and now must accept the responsibility of a century of neglect. The past cannot be changed and those who are in the Baseball Hall of Fame should remain. Looking into the past would only create more confusion and lead to more questions then answers. MLB should announce a stricter drug policy, with more random testing, and make it clear that those who are caught will face harsh penalties and be denied the privilege of being considered for the Hall of Fame. In a sense it would be a new era for the Baseball Hall of Fame and those that are currently in would be grandfathered in and those that earn the right to get in would be upholding the integrity that the Hall is built on.