According to the dictionary a Hall of Fame is a building set aside to honor outstanding individuals in any profession. The Baseball Hall of Fame specifically is an American History Museum and Hall of Fame for Major League Baseball. There are however certain players who have not been allowed entrance to the hall of fame. These players may not have been allowed in for two reasons; the first is possibly because of their use (alleged or proven) of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), or it may also be due to a personality issue. Having players who are widely considered the best to ever play the game not be in the Hall of Fame due to the mindset of people who report on the sport is not a fair ...view middle of the document...
Barry Bonds is one of the more famous players to have been accused of using PEDs; however Bonds was considered a Hall of Fame player when he was still playing for Pittsburg from 1986-1992 (Major League Baseball). The general consensus is that Bonds did not start using until around 1998 when he was playing for San Francisco, at the time of the Mark McGuire & Sammy Sosa home run chase (Fainaru-Wada, Williams).
Something that a lot of people do not take into account is that PEDs alone do not make you a baseball player. One could not simply inject themselves with a steroid and go play professional baseball. When Major League Baseball released the Mitchell report, a large number of the players on the list were not the superstars of the game. Of course there were superstars on the list, but a large number of them were mediocre players. Which goes to show that taking the drug(s) alone does not make you a better player.
Many of the writers do not consider or mention during their writings that technically the players accused were not breaking any rules. Steroids did not officially become a banned substance until the 2002 labor negotiations; it was then revised again in 2007 (Staudohar). McGuire was using Androstenedione which was a completely legal substance that could be purchased over the counter at any supplement store. Current players who are proven to have used the drugs are now considered to be breaking the rules.
Having sports writers vote for who goes into the Hall of Fame might not be the greatest way to handle who is allowed in and who is out. There is an inherit bias to how a player is viewed among the writers. It is along the same lines as the “unwritten rules of baseball” that have been making headlines lately.
A good example of this bias can be viewed in writings about Alex Rodriguez. He has admitted to steroid use before, but he has never tested positive for it. The only reason he was suspended was because of an ex-employee giving a list of names to a newspaper. Rodriguez was being portrayed as a bad guy long before these accusations came to light, and after the suspensions were announced there was almost a celebratory tone to the articles being written. On the opposite side of this, there have been rumors of David Ortiz testing positive for PEDs back in 2003. Ortiz is widely considered one of the more popular players in MLB and he is beloved in Boston.
Biasing from the writers does not apply to just PED users. There are players who have been on the ballot for a few years and have not been inducted, take Craig Biggio for example. Biggio has had a very similar career to Derrick Jeter who announced his retirement this season. There is no doubt that Jeter will be a first ballot inductee (he will be inducted after his first time listed on the ballot), but Biggio has been on the ballot for the last few years and has not yet been inducted. Both players have had twenty year careers with one team and both players have over 3,000...