Barry Bonds was one of the most prolific baseball players ever to play the game. Bonds owns countless records including the most career home runs (762) most home runs in a season (73) and most MVP awards (7). Even with all these records, the 14-time all-star has yet to be elected into the baseball hall of fame because of alleged steroid use.
While federal prosecutors dropped their case against Bonds last year, it is widely known that Bonds did use steroids at least during some short intervals in his career, if not for extended periods of it.
Many baseball purists argue that in order to protect the integrity of the game and the hall of fame, players who are believed to have used steroids should be barred from entry.
There is a fundamental problem in this view since there are already players in the Hall of Fame who have used illegal performance enhancing drugs, and not a single one of those players already in the hall had an impact on the game like Bonds did. Yes, Bonds’ statistics did jump after his alleged steroid use began, however many argue he was already a hall of fame quality player before that ever happened.
There is no doubt in my mind that Bonds benefitted from the use of steroids in his career. I believe his doing of this was in fact dishonest, and cheating. But steroids alone can’t make you the best hitter in baseball history. Steroids didn’t hit the ball; Barry hit the ball.
If steroids were the cause of his success, then the hundreds of other steroid users in baseball would all be 14-time All-stars, and be some of the most well-known names in sports. One of Bonds’ other records is the most walks in a career, which is something that doesn’t involve the use of any drug.
To attest to his elite skill beyond steroids, he is currently a hitting coach for the Florida Marlins. The man worked his tail off to become one of the best hitters in baseball history, and it would be far fetched to attribute all of that to simple steroid use.
Bonds received only 44% of the vote to be selected into the hall of fame this year, his fourth year of eligibility. He still has six years of eligibility left, but needs 75% of the vote to make it. His chances of making the hall of fame look pretty slim, but Bonds is past letting it get to him. After the vote was cast, all Bonds said in response was, “God knows I’m a Hall of Famer.”