Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan sent a letter to every BBWAA Hall of Fame voter on Tuesday urging them not to vote for any alleged steroid users.
“The more we Hall of Famers tal about this—and we talk about it a lot—we realize that we can no longer sit silent,” Morgan wrote. “Many of us have come to think that silence will be considered complicity. Or than fans might think we are ok if the standards of election to the Hall of Fame are relaxed, at least relaxed enough for steroid users to enter and become members of the most sacred place in Baseball. We don’t want fans ever to think that.
“We hope the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame. They cheated. Steroid users don’t belong here.”
Longtime Hall voter Joe Posnanski believes this is the first time the museum or its members have taken a stance on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs. Morgan neglects to mention, however, that performance-enhancers are nothing new in baseball—amphetamines (known to ballplayers as “greenies”) were commonplace in clubhouses from the 60’s until they were banned in 2006.
Hall voters have long been wary of electing suspected PED users. Even players who never tested positive and were never implicated in the Mitchell Report—like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell—faced opposition from voters that delayed their induction.
In recent years, though, voters have warmed to even the game’s most notorious PED users. Barry Bonds was named on only 36.2% of ballots in 2013, his first year of eligibility, but received 53.8% support last year. Roger Clemens (37.6% support in 2013, 54.1% in 2017) has similarly improved his standing.
Accused steroid users on this year’s ballot include Bonds, Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield.