Skip to content

Historic Cheaters (defending Barry Bonds again)

August 8, 2012

I wrote a column in my college newspaper years ago that examined national sports news. As I wrote about Phil Mickelson finally winning a major, fictionally toured baseball camps during spring training and trashed and then gushed over NASCAR, perhaps my most controversial piece was on the former Giants and Pirates slugger.

Despite my take at defending Barry Bonds, I still received letters and phone calls claiming I’m an idiot for believing he didn’t take PEDs. While I now know he did, it still doesn’t change much of my opinion of him. He is just behind Ted Williams and Babe Ruth o the short list of the game’s greatest hitters. He is also a cheater, and more importantly, he is also a FIRST ballot Hall of famer in my opinion.

I’ll pause for the laughter and criticism. But here is a list of other hall of fame players that were accused and some proven of cheating.

1. Gaylord Perry (pitcher, Giants, Indians, Rangers, Padres, Yankees, Braves, Mariners, Royals, 1962-1983)
Perry, a Hall-of-Famer, compiled his 314-265 record on the wings of a Vaseline ball. He’d stand on the mound, touching his cap or his sleeve, either loading up the ball or trying to convince batters he was doing so. In 1982, he became one of the very few pitchers to be suspended for doctoring the ball.

2. Whitey Ford (pitcher, Yankees, 1950-67)Ford used his wedding ring to cut the ball, or had catcher Elston Howard put a nice slice in it with a buckle on his shin guard. Ford also planted mud pies around the mound and used them to load the ball. He confessed that when pitching against the Dodgers in the 1963 World Series, “I used enough mud to build a dam.” He also threw a “gunk ball,” which combined a mixture of baby oil, turpentine, and resin. He kept the “gunk” in a roll-on dispenser, which, the story goes, Yogi Berra once mistook for deodorant, gluing his arms to his sides in the process.

3. George Brett (3B, DH, 1B, Royals, 1973-93)
On July 24, 1983, at Yankee Stadium, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals came to bat with the Royals down, 4-3. He slammed a two-run tater off of Goose Gossage, giving the Royals the lead. By the time Brett had made it to the dugout, though, Yankee manager Billy Martin (acting on the advice of Graig Nettles, who, perhaps prompted by the superball incident, had read the rulebook) was protesting to home plate umpire Tim McClelland. McClelland asked for Brett’s bat, examined it while conferring with his crew, and then called Brett out for having too much pine tar on his bat. According to the rules then, pine tar and similar substances couldn’t be higher than 18 inches from the bat handle; Brett’s bat was covered up to 19 or 20 inches. After the enraged Brett had been ejected for arguing the unusual call, the Yankees went on to win 4-3. The Royals protested the game, and AL president Lee McPhail overturned McClelland’s ruling, reinstating Brett’s homer.


When also examining the Bonds as a cheater topic, you cannot exclude the amount of players in the 1970s and 1980s that took SPEED in order to play in days games following night games. How many of those players are in the hall right now.

Bonds cheated, I admit that, but for people to allow the above three players in the hall, accept that greenies and speed were “part of the game” and not permit Bonds into the Hall is hypocritical and wrong.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: