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Opinion: Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame

Barry Bonds deserves to be a Hall of Famer even though he resorted to steroids


Former San Francisco Giant star Barry Bonds is all smiles after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to a standing ovation prior to action against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the NLCS in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. The Giants topped the Phillies, 3-0, to take a 2-1 series lead. 

Next month, the Hall of Fame will reveal if former MLB great and ASU baseball player Barry Bonds will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Even though Barry Bonds is the all-time home run and walks leader, he has failed to be inducted the first 7 times that he was on the ballot because of his steroid controversy. 

The idea that Barry Bonds shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame merely because he cheated falls flat for a number of reasons. Yes, steroids have been banned from the MLB since 1991, but enforcement was inexistent for more than a decade afterward. 

Bonds would not be the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame that has a history of steroid use. According to the biography of Jose Canseco, a former MLB player, Canseco injected Hall of Fame player Ivan Rodriguez with steroids. Additionally, Hall of Famer Mike Piazza also had controversies and rumors of him using steroids his entire career.

"For me personally, being in the game of baseball, I have no problem with it," Drew Stankiewicz, a former ASU baseball player and current professional baseball player said.

The book "Game of Shadows" states that Bonds started doing steroids after the 1998 season. 

Between 1986 and 1998, he was an 8-time all-star, 8-time gold glove, 7-time silver slugger and 3-time MVP. He was also the only player in MLB history to have 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases. 

There's no question that even without steroids he wouldn't just be a Hall of Famer — he would still be considered one of the greatest players of all time.

"My dad played in the big leagues in the '90s so he saw all that stuff when you walk into the clubhouse there was greenies and steroids for trainers to hand out," said Stankiewicz.

During Barry Bonds' prime in the 1990s, the MLB may not have supported steroid usage, but they were not afraid to capitalize on it.

Following the strike of 1994 and the loss of viewership, the sudden increase in home runs and players like Mark McGwire shattering records brought interest back into baseball. 

There was no incentive at the time for MLB to put an end to the steroid craze due to the money they were making. Therefore it is not fair to punish Bonds now for his steroid use. 

"There was no rules so everyone was doing it... it just so happened to be that players like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire were the best players at the time," said Stankiewicz.

If the voters do not want to let ASU baseball legend Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame because of steroids, they should not let anyone else who has reasonable suspicion of being in the Hall of Fame either. They should have let either everybody in or nobody in. 

ASU had one of the greatest baseball players of all time it will be a shame for ASU to not have Bonds inducted into the hall of fame. It's impossible to tell the story of baseball in the turn of the century without Barry Bonds and all of his achievements, regardless of his controversy, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. 

Editor's note: The multimedia in this story was updated at 10:17 p.m. 

Reach the columnist at or follow @Kellenmoore23 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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