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Clemens, Bonds and Rose – Who is Deserving of the Hall of Fame?

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With all of the controversy surrounding Roger Clemens and his high-profile steroid case, I got to thinking about how scandals can affect athletes’ chances of making it into their respective Halls of Fame. Take for instance a player like Pete Rose. He has been banned from the Hall of Fame for life. And for what? Betting on baseball as a player. Now, that sounds like a pretty bad thing, right? Well, I don’t know about that. Betting on the other team and then taking a dive is one thing and is in clear violation of the unspoken moral rules in baseball. But, Rose didn’t do that. Most of the time he didn’t even bet on the Reds. And when he did, he bet that they would win. So, obviously he wasn’t taking a dive or cheating to make some quick cash. Rather, he was supremely confident that his team would win. I do not see the wrong in that.

Now, juxtapose Pete’s situation with that of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. It has been proven that Barry Bonds did, in fact, take steroids to enhance his performance. He has not been punished, though, because no one has proven that he knowingly took steroids. But the reality of situation is that Bonds had illgal help getting to where he is today. Ask yourself whether or not Bonds will be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day. The answer is that he most likely will. Does that seem fair? Nope. Furthermore, although Bonds has faced a lot of scutiny from the media, the league and from once adoring fans, he has not been completely cut off from the game like Rose was – and all without cheating or having some kind of outside help to bolster his game. 

Roger Clemens is in a similar situation as Bonds. Though conclusive evidence has yet to surface regarding the Clemens affair, Roger has already faced the ever present gossip that has primarily centered around how this incident will affect his bid for the Hall of Fame. If we go by what the analysts and bloggers are saying, Roger Clemens may face a little bit of a tarnished reputation, but will in no way be precluded from the Hall of Fame. And obviously he has not been cut off for the baseball world as he is still pitching for the Yankees.

The banning of Pete Rose just seems a bit much in my eyes. Here is a player who played his heart out, game in and game out. Yes, he made a mistake in betting on baseball and on his team in particular. But when it came to the actual games, he never took a dive or threw a game. He always played to the best of his ability. He was the prototypical competitor. Compared to Bonds who did take steroids and Clemens who may or may not have taken steroids, Pete Rose seems like he is a lot more deserving of the Baseball Hall of Fame than either one of them.  


Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for Basketball Uniforms, Portable Scoreboards and Baseball Uniforms.