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Thursday, November 30, 2006

McGwire belongs in the Hall

Mark McGwire should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Period.

Some of Big Mac’s detractors point to his refusal to answer questions during congressional hearings as reason to keep him out of the Hall.

That’s lame.

McGwire has done nothing to mitigate the accomplishments of a 16-year career during which he slugged 583 home runs. He never tested positive for steroids. Major League Baseball, in fact, had no testing program in place until 2002.

McGwire’s “crime” was refusing to answer questions about a period during which MLB had no official policy on steroid use.

“I’m not here to talk about the past,” he repeatedly told the panel.

Other McGwire detractors point to the character clause on the ballot as reason to keep him out of the Hall. But exactly what MLB rule has McGwire violated?

Name ONE.

Gaylord Perry, in his autobiography Me and The Spitter, admittedly threw spitballs. That’s cheating. Yet Perry, who won 314 games, sits comfortably in the Hall.

When McGwire captivated the nation during his 70-homer season in 1998, he was nationally celebrated. He should be equally celebrated now.

McGwire put up Hall of Fame numbers during his career, and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame – the first time around.


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