Eric Byrnes: Hall of Fame player from ’70s and ’80s used steroids
Lifelong Baltimore Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson played from 1955-1977. Earlier this year, he spoke out about steroids users.
Frank Robinson called steroids a cloud over the game. He played from 1956-1976.
Former relief pitcher Goose Gossage was admitted into the Hall in 2008. He pitched in the ’70s and ’80s primarily and recently said he doesn’t want users in the Hall.
“If they let these guys in ever — at any point — it’s a big black eye for the Hall and for baseball,” he recently said.
Rollie Fingers pitched in the ’70s and ’80s and recently called out steroids users.
“What I think is if a guy is going to admit to using steroids, take the years that he was using steroids and just wipe the slate that year.”
Dennis Eckersley tweeted that it felt right that players were shut out of the Hall this year. Eckersley pitched in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
“Wow! Baseball writers make a statement,” Eckersley wrote on Twitter. “Feels right.”
Andre Dawson played in the late ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Here’s what he told the Palm Beach Post.
“One of the criteria is integrity of the game and I think that was broken. There are probably individuals in the Hall of Fame who haven’t abided by all of the rules but this is something that was detrimental to the history of the game and that’s the problem I have.
“When I see records being shattered left and right for selfish reasons, just to make more money, that’s when I have a problem with it.’
Rickey Henderson doesn’t have a problem with those who used, but is proud he did it cleanly. Rickey played from ’79-’03.
“It was the era and the time, but we don’t know what it really meant to the game,” Henderson said. “I can’t even ask ‘Do they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?’
“I can understand that it was an era something was going on . . . and at that time I don’t think it was considered in baseball illegal.
“It was the era and the time, but we don’t know what it really meant to the game. I can’t even ask ‘Do they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?’ I can understand that it was an era something was going on . . . and at that time I don’t think it was considered in baseball illegal.”
Jim Rice, elected in 2009 and played in the ’70s and ’80s, said users don’t belong.
“I think if they did something wrong to enhance the game of baseball or go against the game of baseball, they shouldn’t be in. That’s just me.”
Reggie Jackson, elected in 1993 and played mostly in the ’70s and ’80s, doesn’t believe in the records of those who used.
“I believe that Hank Aaron is the home run king, not Barry Bonds, as great a player as Bonds was.”
Cal Ripken Jr., who played from ’81-’01, is saddened by the steroids cloud.
“It certainly saddens me when you see the black cloud of steroids hanging over baseball. With time, we gain perspective, and things start to heal a little bit.
“More things will come out that we’ll have to deal with. MLB and the players association have to come out and regain the integrity of the game. There are positive things about that. Most of the people I talk to realize [the steroids controversy] sort of set us back, but baseball is still a great game.”
Barry Larkin, who played from ’86-’04, says cheaters don’t belong in the Hall.
“I think if you cheated, no, you don’t deserve it because I know how difficult it was for me to get there and how difficult it was for me just to compete on an everyday basis. “I think if you cheated I think you made a decision and I don’t think you belong.
George Brett, who played in the ’70s and ’80s, says guys would boycott the Hall if cheaters got in.
Ozzie Smith, who played from ’78-’96, says any user should not be considered for the Hall.
“From my perspective, if a guy tested positive (for steroids) or a guy admitted to using, it means he cheated,” Smith said Monday in a telephone interview. “We banned Pete Rose from baseball for betting. What he did on the baseball field was unparrallelled. So if you if you’re going to ban him from baseball completely, then if a guy tested positive or admitted using, he automatically eliminates himself from being part of the Hall of Fame.”
Wade Boggs, in 2009, said steroids users didn’t fit in the Hall. He played from ’82-’99.
Three-time MVP Mike Schmidt, who played from ’72-’89, said he wouldn’t want guys who are proven cheaters to be in, but he doesn’t like associating the entire era with steroid use and finds that unfair.
I think that covers what most of the Hall of Famers from that time period have said about steroid users in the Hall. Byrnes is likely referring to one of the guys listed above.
Photo: Twitter/Eric Byrnes