Baseball Hall of Fame Change of Mind

I would never want to be a cheater, fraud or phony, who would? But to avoid being one, I have switched sides – let any deserving player in the Baseball Hall of Fame, even Pete and the steroid guys – that is my new view, and I know many others have taken up that side of things, too.

Call me a fair weathered fan, whatever, but I have switched sides on my Hall of Fame inductions beliefs. I also apologize to those who I argued the other side of this in the past. I was a staunch proponent of all the supposed bad guys never getting into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, etc. – no way, not ever. I always knew there was a slight chance I would mellow with age and maybe change my mind. But, wham, I completely and immediately spun my beliefs after this past election.

I wrote an article a while back stating that because we don’t know who used performance enhancing drugs and who did not, I could not vote for players of that era. I now realize that anyone means anyone. If I stay with that point, sorry, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and the rest, even Big Frank. I believe you guys were clean and should be in the Hall of Fame, but I have no proof, and probably never will. But, because they are in, I cannot justify the others are not in because of insinuation. My father in law used to say, “You can’t cheat the cheaters,” which I could not figure out it’s meaning until now.  It means things were basically the same for all, which still makes the best the best. Even if it is more than innuendo with some, my new belief is that the best belong in the hall because the playing field was closer to level than I thought before.

Baseball Hall of Fame

Jack with two other Hall of Famers, in my book.

If I don’t reverse my thinking and honestly believe that no one should be in, that is like saying baseball did not exist all those years. A point made by many before me, I know. Furthermore, I took part in a mock vote for this year’s induction eligible players, and proceeded to vote for all the elected. Of course, they all were smack dab prominent in the steroid era. I convinced myself that no way they did anything the wrong way. After all they told us that they did it right and the hint of the suggestion about them was minimal, if any. But???

Baseball Hall of Fame Hypocrite was Me

I realized how much of a hypocrite I was. Soon after changing my thinking, I read articles by Bob Nightengale and Jason Stark that convinced me I was being hypocritical. When I look up the word hypocrite in the thesaurus, the words fraud, phony and pretender came up. Those monikers make me the same as the guys who juiced, no mistaking that. The only difference was that I admitted I was one above, which leaves me like Mark McGuire and any of the valiant others who admitted, but still we are what we did or believe. It hurts to think of myself as a sham, insincere and pretentious, so the only way, I can avoid those labels is to switch sides. I imagine those Hall of Fame players who used PED’s wish they could go back and change as I have, too late for that.

Other reasons exist for switching my thoughts. I believe good people make mistakes, and I believe in forgiveness. Does that it make it fair for all? Not for the non-cheaters who lost out on a major league career and the clean players who deserve greater recognition. But, I refuse to be judge and jury anymore when we don’t know who is who. I am ready to move on from that era and feel the best of that era should go into the Hall of Fame.

Of course, many suggest electing those players in, but having a side wing for them labeled “Guys from the steroid era.” That is funny. I propose something similar, having two separate wings, the “did it right” and the “not so did it right.” We would have to go back in time and judge all the Baseball Hall of Fame ballplayers and put them in one or the other. Geez, with what we know of the past hall of fame players, it seems like the first wing would be pretty small, maybe even a few lockers.

I am feeling better about my change of heart, but, then my mind goes to A-Rod. My forgiveness beliefs and everything else mentioned will be tested to the ultimate with him. Maybe I will turn back into a hypocrite then, but at least I have five years or so to feel good about not being one.

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