Barry Bonds spent 22 Years in Major League Baseball. Over that time he played in 2,986 games, collected 2,935 hits, drove in 1,996 RBI, and hit 762 home runs. All Hall of Fame numbers to be sure. They are unanimous first-ballot type numbers.
His name appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this week. He was the most feared hitter in baseball over the last 50 years, but it is very doubtful that he will be elected into Cooperstown on his first try.
The use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs has permanently scarred an otherwise legendary career.
What seems to be worse is that Bonds does not want to address the issue and stays mute. He has become a pariah in baseball and is the 800-pound gorilla in the room that makes everyone uncomfortable.
The question is how long the Hall of Fame voters make Bonds wait until he is elected into the elite group of his peers.
Pete Rose’s baseball career was stained by gambling charges. He retired from baseball in 1986. He is not in the Hall of Fame yet and probably will not be enshrined in his lifetime.
Mark McGwire is a contemporary of Bonds and was also tarnished with the steroid abuse issue during his career. This will be the seventh year that McGwire has been on the Hall of Fame ballot and only received 19.5 percent of the votes last year. 75 percent is required to gain entry.
Bonds made a ton of money over his career and can live the good life. Even though he has to wait for his name to be called to join the Hall of Fame he can still laugh all the way to the bank.
Other controversial names appearing on the ballot for the first time are Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens. It will be interesting to see how the voters react to them as well. Like Bonds they have been tainted with the steroid issue.
First timers that may actually have a legitimate chance of gaining entry into the Hall of Fame include: Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, and Craig Biggio.
Over the next few years several big name baseball players will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot that have been connected to steroid use during their careers. The Hall of Fame voters have made their opinion quite clear that steroid abusers do not belong in the Cooperstown with the other greats of baseball.