Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Joe Morgan pens letter to all Hall of Fame voters: Steroid users don’t belong
November 21, 2017
Joe Morgan pens letter to all Hall of Fame voters: Steroid users don’t belong
Image result for joe morgan The Baseball Hall of Fame never has issued a clear statement about how voters should handle the steroids issue, until now. Hall of Fame second baseman and Hall vice chairman Joe Morgan sent an impassioned emailed letter through the Hall to every eligible voter from the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday, the day after the 2018 ballot was released, imploring them that “steroid users don’t belong” in Cooperstown. ”Over the years, I have been approached by many Hall of Fame members telling me we needed to do something to speak out about the possibility of steroid users entering the Hall of Fame. This issue has been bubbling below the surface for quite a while,” Morgan’s letter began. “I hope you don’t mind if I bring to your attention what I’m hearing.” Morgan, a two-time National League MVP with the Reds in 1975-76, continued by stressing that he doesn’t “speak for every single member of the Hall of Fame,” but says he was speaking on behalf of “many” of its elected members. “I think the Hall of Fame is special. There is a sanctity to being elected to the Hall. It is revered. It is the hardest Hall of Fame to enter, of any sport in America,” Morgan wrote. “But times change, and a day we all knew was coming has now arrived. Players who played during the steroid era have become eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame. “The more we Hall of Famers talk about this – and we talk about it a lot – we realize we can no longer sit silent. Many of us have come to think that silence will be considered complicity. Or that fans might think we are ok if the standards of election to the Hall of Fame are relaxed, at least relaxed enough for steroid users to enter and become members of the most sacred place in Baseball. We don’t want fans ever to think that. “We hope the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame. They cheated. Steroid users don’t belong here.”  According to Morgan, any players who either failed MLB-administered drug tests or admitted using performance-enhancing drugs or were cited in the investigation into steroids known as the Mitchell Report “should not get in.” Still, Morgan acknowledged that player denials, including their inclusion in the Mitchell Report, make the handling of voting for them “a tricky situation.” “But it still occurs to me that anyone who took body-altering chemicals in a deliberate effort to cheat the game we love, not to mention they cheated current and former players, and fans too, doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame,” Morgan wrote. “By cheating, they put up huge numbers, and they made great players who didn’t cheat look smaller by comparison, taking away from their achievements and consideration for the Hall of Fame. That’s not right. “And that’s why I, and other Hall of Famers, feel so strongly about this.”
Slugger Mark McGwire admitted using PEDs and never got close to being inducted into Hall.
Slugger Mark McGwire admitted using PEDs and never got close to being inducted into Hall.
PED-linked former stars Roger Clemens (54.1 percent) and Barry Bonds (53.8 percent) received their highest vote totals last year in their fifth time on the ballot, moving closer to the 75 percent threshold required for enshrinement. Others such as Mark McGwire, an admitted user, and Rafael Palmeiro, who was suspended by MLB for failing a drug test in 2005, no longer are on the ballot, while linked players including Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez and others have garnered scant support. Several players suspected of PED usage, yet never proven, including Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell, have been elected to the Hall in recent years, while former commissioner Bud Selig, who presided over that era, also was enshrined in 2017. “It’s gotten to the point where Hall of Famers are saying that if steroid users get in, they’ll no longer come to Cooperstown for Induction Ceremonies or other events,” Morgan said. “Some feel they can’t share a stage with players who did steroids. The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too. The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.” Morgan also cited in his letter Section 5 of the Rules for Election, which states, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” “I care about how good a player was or what kind of numbers he put up; but if a player did steroids, his integrity is suspect; he lacks sportsmanship; his character is flawed; and, whatever contribution he made to his team is now dwarfed by his selfishness,” Morgan wrote. “The Hall of Fame has always had its share of colorful characters, some of whom broke or bent society’s rules in their era. By today’s standards, some might not have gotten in. Times change and society improves. What once was accepted no longer is.
Roger Clemens received more than 50% of the vote last year as he is trending upward.
Roger Clemens received more than 50% of the vote last year as he is trending upward
“But steroid users don’t belong here. What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.” The 2018 Hall of Fame ballots were sent out on Monday, and featured first-time players such as Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel. Morgan hopes no proven PED users receive the necessary votes for enshrinement when votes are cast by Dec. 31. “Steroid users knew they were taking a drug that physically improved how they played. Taking steroids is a decision. It’s the deliberate act of using chemistry to change how hard you hit and throw by changing what your body is made of,” wrote Morgan, who was first-ballot electee in 1990. “I and other Hall of Famers played hard all our lives to achieve what we did. I love this game and am proud of it. I hope the Hall of Fame’s standards won’t be lowered with the passage of time. “For over eighty years, the Hall of Fame has been a place to look up to, where the hallowed halls honor those who played the game hard and right. I hope it will always remain that way.” http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/joe-morgan-steroid-users-letter-hall-voters-article-1.3648386