Open Letter to BBWAA Writers Voting for Hall of Fame Induction

Thursday December 30, 2010

This started as a response to ESPN’s Jim Caples article on Baseball Hall of Fame voting rules.

In his article Caples says that steroids were not against the rules of baseball so he is going to vote for people that used steroids. Caples is completely wrong about that and that worries me. How many otyher baseball writers are unaware of the facts on steroid rules in baseball.

The rest of this post is as I wrote it to Caples:

Steroids were expressly against the official rules in major league baseball since 1991 and implicitly since 1971. That is something you SHOULD know as a baseball writer and a voter for the the Baseball Hall of Fame. That you don’t worries me.

You say you will be voting for people that knowingly broke express rules forbidding the use of anabolic steroids and other banned substances and you are using the specious argument that the use was not against the rules.

In 1971 Bowie Kuhn put in place a rule that said baseball personnel must comply with all federal and state statutes and steroid possession and use has been a crime without a prescription since the 1960’s.

In 1991 Fay Vincent prohibited steroid use and possession specifically and in 1997 Bud Selig spelled it out the prohibition against steroid use as well.

What they didnt have was drug testing. So unless they caught a player in possession of Steroids, there was little they could do to punish them. The USE and POSSESSION of steroids was still prohibited, so to say there were no rules prohibiting steroid use is just plain false.

Those men that used steroids like Palmiero, McGwire, Clemens & Bonds knowingly broke the rules of the game and they do not meet the character rules for voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. They do not deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown regardless of their performance on the field because they failed to play by the rules.


If you will sleep better at night by lying to yourself and the public, so be it, but the facts are the facts.

As a journalist you should really do more research into the facts of the case before you cause permanent harm to the game of baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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