Those with the ability to vote on which individuals gain entry into Major League Baseball’s heralded Hall of Fame have sent a powerful and entirely appropriate message in declining to enshrine suspected steroids users/cheaters including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens, causing there to be no living inductees to the Hall this year.
For those who believe that the stars noted above deserve a spot in the Hall now based upon their accomplishments on the field, let us recall that among the factors to be prominently considered in nominees is “character” as has been the case since the first such election in 1936. Undoubtedly there have been individuals inducted into the hall with character flaws, but that does not serve to provide justification for circumventing this key criteria today.
Character and good sportsmanship play small roles in professional sports as we see time and time again through the on-field and private conduct of athletes. It is gratifying that in determining which individuals shall achieve immortal status in baseball, it remains a factor.