Players like Chipper Jones don’t come around very often. Jones is entering his 19th full season of an extremely productive MLB career — all of which has been spent in Atlanta. Just a couple months away from his 40th birthday, Chipper’s production has dropped off a bit over the past couple seasons. He was, however, one of the most consistent players in baseball from 1995 to 2007. What’s even more impressive is that he did it all in the heart of the steroid era and kept his name clean. That doesn’t mean the thought never crossed his mind.
“I mean, definitely,” Chipper said Monday when asked if he ever considered using performance-enhancing drugs. “You see peers doing it. You see contemporaries on other teams doing it and putting up (big) numbers. But at that point in my career, while I didn’t have kids yet, and I thought, I don’t want to jeopardize their lives (with the backlash) one day.”
Jones said he was even confronted by his father several years ago at the height of the steroid era. He says was proud to be able to tell his father he never went down that road and has played the game the right way.
“I can just imagine what my dad would’ve said if he found out that four, five or six years out of my career he knew that I was cheating,” Jones said. “He told me as much. He said, ‘Please tell me you never did that.’ I said, ‘I never did.’ He said, ‘I can’t think of anything that would disappointment me more than finding out that you did something like that.’ I said, ‘Well, you don’t have to worry about that.’”
The soon-to-be Hall of Famer said he believes only about 1 percent of the league’s players are using performance-enhancing drugs now but that his guess would be around 20 percent were using them at the peak of the steroid era. Anyone who claims to have never considered using PEDs during the Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire era is either has an amazingly strong will or is lying. At the moment, Chipper is a friendly reminder that there were guys during the 90s who didn’t cheat to succeed.
H/T Daily PitchGoogle+