How the Baseball Hall of Fame Acknowledges the Steroids Era

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To me, the most interesting aspect of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is what passes as “the steroids wing.” The entire steroids era, from approximately the mid 1990s to the early 2010s is covered by just one display case, which focuses on artifacts relating to PEDs or performance enhancing drugs.

In fact, if you visit the hall, I would recommend starting your tour on the second floor, and heading to this specific area first. Steroids, and PEDs in general, are a topic that a lot of us need further education on, and like the website SteroidsFax, it’s an edifying experience. Objects from the Mitchell Report and BALCO are present, as is the Barry Bonds 756 home run ball, with an asterisk imprinted into its midst.

As one might expect, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire (the two stars of the 1998 home run record chase that helped bring people back to the game after the 1994 strike chased them away) are the main attractions in this display.

Naturally, Sosa and McGwire have the most objects in this case, but Rafael Palmeiro is mentioned, and you also have Roger Clemens’ pitching rubber from one of his most famous games.

Jose Canseco literally wrote the book on steroids in baseball, so he’s repped here as well due to his critical role in the history of the game.

This is about as close as Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Palmeiro and Canseco will ever get to getting into the Hall of Fame.

canseco

All of them have have the career statistics for enshrinement, but their place will forever be in this case upstairs, not in the galleries of the bronze plaques of Hall of Famers at street level.

Of course, with all the talk of steroids and asterisks, the greenies era of baseball gets overlooked, both here in this case and in general.

Hopefully, one day that will change and this time period will get the investigation and coverage that it deserves.

For now, steroids are synonymous with the term PEDs, and whether that’s fair or unfair is another article and debate for another time.

Baseball is a sport where records and statistics take on exalted status, and the home run records reside on another higher plain entirely.

With that in mind, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron are the only individuals with entire sections of the hall devoted to their lives and achievements, and no doubt Barry Bonds will spend the rest of his days on Earth extremely irate about that.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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