Does Sammy Sosa deserve a place in Cooperstown?

June 24, 2009


The deference once shown to the stars of America’s favorite pastime has given way to widespread cynicism when records are shattered, especially since Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa engaged in a spirited race in 1998 to break Roger Maris’s single-season record of 61 home runs, a chase that gripped the country with excitement.

In a bid to remove clouds of suspicion chronicled in the book Game of Shadows, Major League Baseball commissioned the “Mitchell Report”. While baseball is not the only sport facing problems, it’s the only sport so invested in an image of sweet American innocence.

Last week, a congressional committee announced it will revisit Sosa’s testimony after a newspaper reported he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 (Alex Rodriguez’s name was also leaked from the same supposedly anonymous survey of 104 players who tested positive in 2003, but that’s a totally different topic).

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s review came shortly after Sosa told ESPN’s Spanish-language service, that he’s about to formally announce his retirement and “calmly wait” for his induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame, for which he will become eligible in 2013.

SPORT BASEBALL ROSEMeanwhile, Pete Rose, who’s never been suspected or convicted of using banned substances, remains persona non grata at Cooperstown despite holding some impressive records: all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B, and 1B).

Twenty years ago, Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds.

In this context, should those suspected of having taken drugs be banned from entering Cooperstown?

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I think the answer to that is obvious, but it is for Rose as well. He broke the rules, he’s not eligible. I don’s see that anything has changed.

Posted by jamesy | Report as abusive

Sosa no Hall of Fame, same with McGwire.

Pete Rose should be inducted, his actions did not hurt baseball, just himself. He is one of the greatest players ever, give him his recognition.

Posted by robert | Report as abusive

Sosa and everyone else who used steroids in the midst of their careers should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame as they cheated and their actions have severely tarnished the game and many of the all time records.

Rose on the other hand never tarnished the game while he played and his accomplishments on the field are certainly worthy of the Hall of Fame status. However, his actions as a manager can and should be scrutinized.

Posted by twowhatwho | Report as abusive

Earlier this week, Former Chicago Cubs star Ryne Sandberg told ESPN radio 1000 in Chicago that Sosa doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Sandberg said “part of being in the hall of fame, they use the word integrity in describing the hall of famer, in the logo of the hall of fame, and I there are going to be quite a few players that are not going to get in”.

Posted by Lionel Perron | Report as abusive

Hell no.

Only let players in the Hall of Fame if they didn’t cheat.

Otherwise Shoeless Joe would be there now or so would Mickey Mantle. If they kept those cheaters out they should keep Sosa, McGuire, Rose and Reggie Jackson out too for all the gambling and steroids they done

Posted by Rodney Blowfish | Report as abusive

What?! Mickey Mantle is in the Hall of Fame, you idiot.

Posted by I. Know Sumthing | Report as abusive

as a cub fan i dont think sosa deserves to be in the hall. it is a place for people who respect the game and played it the way its supposed to be played, just like ryno said. according to the leaked report he used PED’s and we cant forget the corked bat incident. i dont care if a whole generation of top players isn’t let in, its called the “hall of fame”.

what the hell is wrong with our country? no one can do things the way they’re supposed to be done…..the right way (most of the time its the hard way), our grandparents new that. america is slipping, and its shown front and center to the world in our sports and our economy (madoff, bankers that created the mortgage situation, MLB, NFL, etc.).

get it together

Posted by bobbydigital | Report as abusive

No way! I’ve been a Cubs fan since 1968 and I’d rather see guys like Sosa, McGwire, Palmiero, Bonds*, Canseco, Clemens, Manny and A-Rod have their own special wing called the Hall of Shame. These are all guys who could have had Hall of Fame careers but they made the conscious decision to cheat. I’ll have no respect for Cooperstown if any of those guys get inducted, it would prove to our children that it’s okay to break the rules.

Posted by Mastrick | Report as abusive

The problem with America is far more reaching than just a few players taking steroids. At 55, I can remember prior to free agency, that every spring you were excited about the up coming season because the rosters never changed. With the exception of retirements or trades, you didn’t have guys hopping from team-to-team trying to make more money. We have become a self-centered society where most, not all, only care about ourselves. We now blame others for our woes instead of taking accountability and responsibility. We trust are hard earned dollars and emotions to those who care very little about society. While I recognize that athletes, entertainers, successful businessmen/women, politicians are people, they should hold themselves at a higher level of accountability and responsibility as many look to them with the ideal of “if they can do it, maybe so can I.” So when they cheat, what message does this send to society as a whole? I think we all know the answer! It is very sad and unfortunate, that we may go through a 10 -15 years period of very little or no inductions into not only the Baseball Hall of Fame, but any Hall of Fame where evidence of indiscretion of any kind, not just steroid use is evident in individuals being considered.

Posted by WuShock82 | Report as abusive

I’m for their induction. The top players of the Era should be inducted into the Hall of Fame and the Period should be marked for what it was: The Steriod Era. We’ve had other Eras and we have many “cheaters” wife beaters, racist, bigoted, players elected to the Hall of Fame.

Posted by Jose | Report as abusive

I feel they went after all these guys. You wanna keep the game clean then test before every game, there is enough money in professional sports to make that work. Its the only way, just let all the past people slide. I hate that Bonds got his record but its obvious people are gonna cheat. You need to catch them prior to keep em from breaking records, not afterwards so it becomes a debate.

Posted by Butch Stewart | Report as abusive

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appreciate your poit of view but I disagree…

Posted by best sports betting system | Report as abusive