The Baseball Hall of Fame is still a stain event since the sport’s steroids era. One of the hardest to judge induction ceremonies of the 4 major North American Sports, it’s no wonder it brings up such a heated debate. Last night, former Red Sox hitter David “Big Papi” Ortiz became the sole inductee into the Hall of Fame to pass the 75% requirement. Ortiz will be joined by vets such as Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges, and Minnie Miñoso.
David Ortiz, one of the best post-season hitters, managed to build up a rep and certain status for his clutchness. In his 85 post-season games, David Ortiz batted for 17 home runs while maintaining a stat line of .289/.404/.543. During his 14 year run, Ortiz captured 10 All-Star appearances, seven Silver Slugger awards, and 3 World Series with the Boston Red Sox. Throughout his career, David Ortiz managed to stay consistent in his playstyle, often seen as the leader during the Red Sox’s reign. Big Papi’s legacy was defined by his designated hitting, winning the Edgar Martínez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award a total of 8 times.
Ortiz spoke about how the pressure of being a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Fame can take a toll.
“I learned not too long ago how difficult it is to get in on the first ballot,” Ortiz said. “Man, it’s a wonderful honor to be able to get in on my first rodeo. It’s something that is very special to me.”
Despite all the accomplishments of David Ortiz, the news of his placement in the Hall of Fame wasn’t without debate. All over Twitters, many MLB fans debated the requirements of someone like Ortiz heading to Cooperstown while icons like Clemens and Bonds failed to make the cut.
It’s no secret both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are figureheads in the era that was performance-enhancing drugs in the early 2000s. It was reported by former player David Wells, more than “25 to 40% of MLB players,” at that time, “were juicing.” A book published by Jose Canseco, a former player, detailed his account of the steroid era and his own use. It later came out later that players like Bonds and Clemens were given PEDs by companies such as Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO). After testifying before Congress, many of the most successful MLB players ‘ legacies had been tarnished beyond repair.
Roger Clemens took to Twitter last night to make a statement ahead of questions sure to plague him in the following days.
“Hey y’all! I figured I’d give y’all a statement since it’s that time of the year again. My family and I put the HOF in the rearview mirror ten years ago. I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF. I played to make a generational difference in the lives of my family. Then focus on winning championships while giving back to my community and the fans as well. It was my passion. I gave it all I had, the right way, for my family and for the fans who supported me. I am grateful for that support. I would like to thank those who took the time to.”
Another name famous in MLB history is that of Alex Rodriguez, former New York Yankees. A-Rod managed to secure only 135 of the 394 votes posted by Baseball Writers Association of America members, 34.3 percent of the total, way below the 75 percent necessary for election. He has nine more tries to get in but if Bonds and Clemens are to be used as examples, his chances are very much slim.