Recently inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, was one of the greatest players to ever step onto a baseball diamond. Cal Ripken Jr. has finally received the greatest recognition in all of the sport for his accomplishments to the game of baseball, by being inducted into the Hall of Fame, many are still questioning the induction of Cal Ripken. It amazes me how many times I have read or seen someone say that Cal Ripken doesn’t deserve to go into the Hall of Fame over Mark McGwire. It comes as no surprise to me, as to why he was inducted. I will explain why Ripken was inducted into the Hall of Fame and why Mark McGwire was not.Ripken has gone on the record as to saying that he in fact has been injured many times, but he always played through them to the best of his ability. He deserves to be commended simply because he was dedicated to baseball throughout his career, something that I think is missing in some players today. Ripken played in 2632 games consecutively, that is over 16 straight seasons. To even comprehend that achievement is amazing. The man played every day with his best effort for 16 seasons and was an all-star, silver slugger, and golden glove award winner. Cal Ripken was honored as an All-Star game Most Valuable Player twice. During his entire career he was able to compile more than 3,000 hits, which is considered “the key” to the Hall of Fame. This year was Cal Ripken’s first year to be eligible on the hall of fame ballot, Cal received the most votes ever on the ballot. I think that people either don’t understand or don’t know these achievements that Ripken has earned during his baseball career, if they question why he is in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mark McGwire was also a great player during his career and certainly helped make many people fans of baseball during his exciting homerun chase. Although this is true, Mark McGwire has admitted to taking certain supplements that may have helped his strength and also has had many allegations from teammates and other sources citing that he used steroids. These steroid allegations obviously tarnished his reputation, thus forcing voters to think to twice about casting a vote in his favor. In fact, McGwire was only able to sway a vote on 23.5 percent of the ballots. Those who voted for him are the same people that say that even if he did take steroids, it doesn’t matter because he provided lots of entertainment by hitting many home runs, he was not breaking a rule if he took steroids, and he saved baseball in the process. This is a decent point, if all that matters to you as a fan is unreal performance, whether or not the player cheats. Of course baseball was made as entertainment, but that does not give the player a right to cheat and play the game unfairly. Baseball is game about natural talent and a fair competition between two teams. Yes, it is true that baseball never made a rule stating that steroids are not allowed to be used, to enhance performance, but no one ever used steroids in baseball that we know of, until the early 1990’s and mid 1990’s. The game of baseball since creation was not meant to have players take an unfair advantage over another, although there has been many different types of attempts of cheating during the years, none have ever involved artificially enhancing performance ability. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa undeniably created a huge buzz around the game of baseball, when both were in the chase to break Roger Maris’ untouchable single season homerun record. However, saying that if Mark McGwire took steroids during his career doesn’t matter is ludicrous. These are also the same people that believe have boxing matches during the seventh inning would be a great idea. It is just absolutely ridiculous. How can cheating in anything in life be commendable?
A long debate can be made about whether or not Mark McGwire used steroids or not. Until the world is able to find out what the truth is, most of the baseball world will continue to vote down McGwire on the Hall of Fame ballots. I really don’t even believe that Mark McGwire should be on the ballot until it is proven, whether or not he used steroids. If this had happened voters wouldn’t have to make such a difficult decision. It is obvious to see that regardless if McGwire says he didn’t take steroids, the voters will still vote using knowledge of his allegations in the back of their minds.
When the voting results were released, I believe we all saw the right choices at the right time, for the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2007.