Sports Column: Why PED users should be admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

As the 2022 MLB Hall of Fame ballots roll in, the admissions of baseball legends Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are still up in the air. Left fielder Barry Bonds, the record holder for most home runs and walks in MLB history, has been denied from the hall of fame every year since 2013 due to his controversial history with performance enhancing drugs (PED). In 2007, Bonds admitted to using steroids since 1998, effectively wiping those nine years from his career in the eyes of many HOF voters. 

I think these voters are ignoring his obvious case for a HOF career before he even touched a PED. Before 1998, Bonds won MVP three times and was a consistent power hitter. Pitcher Roger Clemens, who was also discovered for using steroids, has an incredibly strong argument for the Hall of Fame as well. Seven time Cy Young winner, an award given out to the best pitcher in the American and National League, Clemens has also won MVP and yet some still dispute his candidacy. 

Cheating is never okay but in the early 2000s and late 1990s, nearly every player in the league participated in PED use and the rules and norms regarding them were still cloudy. To keep every PED user out of the Hall of Fame is to remove an entire decade and most likely disqualify some baseball greats. Babe Ruth was known for drinking copious amounts of alcohol and basically every player from the 1890s to 1950s used some sort of narcotic while playing. 

 If modern HOF voters want a “clean” hall so be it, but that sentiment must be consistent. In my opinion, to keep Clemens and Bonds out of the MLB Hall of Fame is a disservice to the sport as a whole.