Why Barry Bonds Should be in the Hall Of Fame

Conner McFarlane, Editor

If I were to tell you without context that a baseball player throughout his career won seven MVPs, is the all-time Home-Run Leader, and had arguably the greatest six year stretch in history of the game but didn’t make the Hall of Fame, you’d call me crazy. Well that player is Barry Bonds, and he just recently failed to get the 75 percent voting threshold that is required to get into the HOF, and since it was tenth time being nominated, he can no longer be nominated, meaning Bonds will forever not be a Hall of Famer.

   So the question is, how can an athlete so dominant possibly be left out of the league’s most prestigious honor? It all boils down to one word, Steriods. 

In the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s the use of steroids or Performance Enhancement Drugs (PED’s) became a major problem in the MLB. The use of Steroids was banned in 1991, but the league didn’t implement testing until 2003. Some of the most notable steroid users during this era were Sammy Sosa, Mark Mcgwire, Manny Ramiarez, Roger Clemons, Jose Canseco, and of course Barry Bonds.

   In 2007, the MLB began an investigation of BALCO, which was a form of an at the time undetectable steroid, and Bonds was accused of taking it. Bonds denied all claims in front of a jury throughout the investigation, but would later be indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying on the stand. Both charges would later be dropped in 2015, but many believed he was still guilty of steroid use.

   The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is part of the group that votes on the nominations to the HOF, and some voters have come out to say they refuse to vote for Bonds as they believe he took PEDs.

   So the question is, are they right? Is the BBWAA right to not vote in possibly the best baseball player of all-time into the HOF because of steroid use? It really depends on how you interpret the HOF and its rules.

   Some say you shouldn’t enshrine cheaters in the Hall because the Hall represents the best players of all-time, and if a player cheated along the way to a great career, the legitimacy of his career should be put in question. But others, including myself, believe that the Hall is also in place to recognize the great moments and eras that took place throughout the history of the game. 

   Regardless of PED use, Barry Bonds really brought baseball back to life in the 2000s, and was the face of the league for a good period of time. Barry Bonds was a baseball player in the early 2000s, and I think not recognizing someone as important and impactful as that is just wrong.

   Some mentioned maybe allowing PED users into the hall, but maybe separating them in their own room, as a way to still recognize their greatness and contributions to the game while still showing they cheated. I would support an idea like this as long as it means the best players of all-time are able to be enshrined in the league’s highest honor.