We seem to be getting closer to one day seeing a PED user get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but what do former players think?
It’s one thing for people who watched the game of baseball to have an opinion on PED users and the Hall of Fame, but it’s another thing for those who shared the field with them.
Frank Thomas and Mo Vaughn, who have partnered to start a Big and Tall fashion line called the MVP Collections, represent two ends of a shared spectrum. One is going to the Hall of Fame and the other is, for now, not. But both played in an era where steroid use boomed in baseball, giving them a different perspective than most when it comes to whether or not those players should be allowed into Cooperstown.
For years, the argument has been that if a player used PEDs he disqualified himself from ever being inducted into the Hall of Fame. It’s not an actual rule, just one of baseball’s many unwritten ones that become kindling to a fiery debate.
Vaughn is firmly in the camp that says players good enough to get into the Hall of Fame should be there regardless of whether they were accused of steroid use or not.
“Get these guys in the Hall of Fame, they’re some of the best ever,” Vaughn said. “You still have to hit the ball.”
Thomas has been vehemently against players who used PEDs getting into Cooperstown, however, even he has begun to soften his stance.
“If [Barry] Bonds and [Roger] Clemens aren’t in, I don’t want to see anyone else in. It starts with those two guys, then we can have a conversation about this thing.”
That’s the tipping point for a lot of fans watching this debate unfold. There seems to be a difference between your average steroid user and the likes of Bonds, Clemens, and others who were already great at the game. It’s no secret that Bonds already had a Hall of Fame career in the mid-90s before when many believe he began using steroids. Similar sentiments are felt for Clemens, who was a dominant pitcher for over a decade before accusations of steroid use were mentioned.
It’s a tricky grey area, one without much middle ground. Thomas and Vaughn aren’t gatekeepers by any means, but they have the influence to move this conversation away from a stalemate and towards actual resolution one way or another.