Just when the popularity of Major League Baseball was making a huge comeback during the nineteen nineties, it would seem that all was well in the storied land of Americas’ favorite pastime. When all seemed to fare well for Major League Baseball, the game would begin to take a turn for the worse when many major leaguers would be accused of taking steroids during the end of the nineteen ninety nine season.
As Major League Baseball heads of state turned a blind eye on the steroid abuse that was damming the game, all that seemed to matter at the time was which player was hitting the most home runs.
There would be three major leaguers that would ultimately change the face of the game. Die hard baseball fans felt excited when Roger Maris home run record was shattered by Mark McGwire in 1998, but all of those feel good moments would be overshadowed by the dark secrets that surrounded the truth about steroid abuse in professional baseball.
And so, the sad and damming tale begins of three major leaguers who help ruin the game of Major League Baseball.
Mark McGwire won Rookie of the Year in 1987 and was touted to be an upcoming superstar in the world of Major League Baseball. When McGwire hit 49 home runs during his rookie year, it was without the use of steroids, and his natural talents would be the beginning of a wonderful baseball career. During 1996 Mark McGwire would hit 52 home runs, and the foregoing year he would hit 58 home runs. McGwire’s home run legacy would continue on, as he would hit a total of 135 home runs – which ran from 1998 to 1999, and the name “Big Mac” became a household name. Take away the steroid use – Mark McGwire would have been an average baseball player at best. McGwire traded fame for integrity, and this will be the main reason why he will never be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. There may be no way of knowing when McGwire began his steroid use, but if you look at his stats beginning from 1996 – one would assume that his steroid abuse began somewhere around that time.
Sammy Sosa first two years as a major leaguer would be mediocre at best. Sosa would not have a breakout year until 1993 where he hit 33 home runs. Five years later, Sammy Sosa would hit 66 home runs in 1998, and the next year he would hit 63 home runs. Sosa only received 12.5% voting for the 2013 Hall of Fame class, a shame indeed for a player whom had accumulated 7 All-Star appearances, and won the Roberto Clemente award in 1998. Sammy Sosa would win one of the most prestigious awards that a player of color could ever receive; the 1999 Hank Aaron Award. Somehow Sammy Sosa slipped under the radar when all of the steroid allegations were literally tearing Major League Baseball apart. Sosa has never publicly admitted up to using steroids, and his denial of the facts has damaged his chances of ever getting into Cooperstown.
Alex Rodriguez began his Major League Baseball career at the tender age of 18, and the Latino prospect was touted as the next “Sultan of Swing.” When Alex Rodriguez joined the Seattle Mariners, Ken Griffey, Jr. would become his mentor. Unfortunately, Rodriguez would step right into the era where steroids were becoming very popular, and would change the way the game of Major League Baseball was played. Before Rodriguez became a household name in the world of professional baseball, scouts said that he had a natural ability to connect with the ball, an impressive assertion of his early baseball skills. Alex Rodriguez would lead the league in home runs for a 5 year period. During 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007 – the slugger would accumulate 258 home runs, an outstanding feat, but now has been tarnished by his admission of using performance enhancing drugs. The many recent series of events linking Rodriguez to other players’ whom have used performance enhancing drugs has cost him a trip to Cooperstown.