The Millennium Phoenix

The Millennium Phoenix

The Millennium Phoenix

The MLB Steroid Era: A Lookback & Our Thoughts

 The MLB Career Batting Leaders are some of the most famous players in all of MLB history. Statistically, the player with the most home runs of all time is Barry Bonds. With 762 home runs to his name, he should have been in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But, he wasn’t. In November 2000, he tested positive for steroids just a few months before he broke the record for single-season home runs(73 home runs in 2001). As a result, he failed to be voted into the hall of fame, and it wasn’t just him. Roger Clemen and almost 100 players in the late 1990s and early 2000s were accused of the usage of these drugs. From here on it was known as the MLB’s “Steroid Era.” 


The Steroid Era:


The steroid era was a period in baseball history where players would abuse steroids by injection ,and some other performance enhancing drugs, in order to improve performance in baseball plays and rounds. There was no exact start or end time, but it approximately began in the late 80s and ran up until the early 2000s. Many famous baseball players,like Barry Bonds, have played in the MLB during this time, and there was growing skepticism from the public over whether these players used performance enhancing drugs or not. But in recent years, reports have surfaced across the media that convinced the public to believe baseball players have used performance enhancing drugs, and developed increased performance levels in their baseball plays. 


Notice Of Steroid Use Rises:


Even before recent reports, many players have noticed suspicious behavior in the field during the mid-90s. In 1996, seventeen batters hit more than forty home runs. To put that into perspective, only five people hit that many balls in 1993. 90s batters Mo Vaughn and Juan Gonzalez were hitting home runs left and right, breaking home run records. Their plays led to greater interested fans in baseball. This change intrigued US Senator George Mitchell, who ran an investigation of the use of steroids in the MLB, and those reports led Vaughn and Gonzalez to be primary suspects. Of the thirteen players who hit more than 40 home runs, eight of them had been linked to using steroids.


Post-Steroid Era: 

The Steroid Era had left the MLB and its franchises in ruins. In order to prevent another disaster from occurring, procedures had to be set. Testing, suspensions, and fines were applied onto the sport. HGH blood tests were mandatory for every player during spring training and soon mandatory during the regular season. Players suspended before the All-Stars games were unqualified to play. In 2013, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec had kept the blood test records for each player.  But, on February 7th, 2022 the MLB stopped testing players. This was due to the expiration of the drug agreement with the Major League Baseball Player Association (MLBPA). 


Our Thoughts:

Mohammad: Professional sports like baseball make me feel mixed about steroid use. On one hand, steroid use in baseball can be beneficial because it promotes more entertainment in the industry and can capture the attention of audiences worldwide. Entertainment through steroids can draw large numbers, generating money financially. On the other hand, many athletes who are against steroids debate it as a supplement that doesn’t provide actual value or realism to any games. I tend to think of it as professional wrestling and the idea of wrestlers taking steroids to promote entertaining matches, even though many people already know about the drugs the wrestlers use. As for baseball? It is uncertain to say so entirely, which could crumble the idea of baseball as a “professional” sport.

Andrew: Drug usage has been common in most sports. I consider consuming steroids or other drugs as cheating. Usually, cheating ruins the fun of the sport and most importantly, its fanbase. A famous example of this is the famous biker, Lance Armstrong. His illegal blood doping allowed him to win several times, but his fanbase became divided and he developed a bad reputation. My perspective is the same for baseball and it might push the sport to become unpopular or even non-existent. 



“The Steroids Era.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 5 Dec. 2012, 

Macramalla, Eric. “The Case against Barry Bonds Getting into the Hall of Fame.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 12 Oct. 2022, 

Brekke, Dan. “Barry Bonds Steroid Case Is Officially Over.” KQED, 21 July 2015, 

“Barry Bonds Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Rookie Status & More.” Baseball, Accessed 4 Jan. 2024. 

Bevevino, Written by: Andrew. “#diamonddebates: Peds.” #DiamondDebates: PEDs | Baseball Hall of Fame, Accessed 4 Jan. 2024. 

Onimus, David John. “The Economic Effects of the Steroid Era in Major League Baseball on Fan Behavior.” eHT Explore, 1 Jan. 1970, steroid%20use%20 angered%20the,the%20league%20and%20its%20 franchises. 


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