One of my all time favorite players, Omar Vizquel, is up for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. I wanted to see if his records are good enough for the Hall of Fame and if the voters are going to put a player in who was outstanding defensively but does not have eye-popping offensive numbers. This lead to an interesting and confusing discovery.
While researching, I ran across something odd, the all-time home-run stats on MLB.com. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa are all still atop of the list. The top home run hitters in the game are not in the Hall of Fame. I know A-Rod isn’t available to be voted into the HoF yet, but why are these other guys not in?
Barry Bonds is number one on the all-time list of home runs with 762. Sosa is eighth with 609, and McGwire is eleventh with 583 total home runs. In total home runs in one year Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa are atop the list as well. Bonds hit 73 in 2001, in 1998 McGwire hit 70, and in 1998 Sosa hit 66. These numbers are astounding and almost untouchable by any player today. Yet not one of these players are in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
I know what you are thinking, “THEY ARE ALL STEROID USERS!!!!”
If I took steroids today I know I still couldn’t hit a home run. These men were all amazing athletes. Some of the best in the world. Steroids don’t turn a “Joe” into a superstar slugger. While steroids may help someone have a competitive edge, it doesn’t turn them into something from nothing like a magic elixir. Does Major League Baseball really care these guys took steroids? They obviously don’t. Their records are there. They still sit atop the standings. There is no statement claiming these guys may have cheated the game. No asterisk is placed next to their name damning them forever. MLB is proud of their history. Nike and MLB praised the home run hitter when it was happening.
The Hall of Fame voters need to check their egos. Some voters, such as Ken Rosenthal, have started to turn a corner. The Hall of Fame is not heaven, it is not some temple on holy ground. It is a building, a museum, showing great baseball players throughout history. There is no reason these guys should be excluded.