National Baseball Hall of Fame fails to live up to its own mission
This might count as sacrilegious in Broncos Country, but the truth is, deep down in my heart of hearts, I believe baseball is the greatest of all sports.
Don’t get me wrong. Football sits comfortably on the throne of the sporting world. But for my money, its baseball.
Baseball is uniquely human. And uniquely American.
Baseball is history, so much so that the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum names it first in its mission statement:
“Preserving history. Honoring excellence. Connecting generations.”
You can mark the major moments of modern history with baseball — the good, the bad and the ugly.
But Tuesday’s final indictment from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on the sport’s steroid era is a punch to the gut.
It’s both shocking and unsurprising — honestly, disappointing is the overwhelming feeling — that Barry Bonds failed to meet the 75 percent threshold required for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his 10th, and final, ballot.
Others connected to the steroid era — Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, et al — failed to gain entrance into the Hall as well, though curiously the only inductee this year — David Ortiz — has his own past run-ins with performance enhancing drug allegations.
Personally, what stings for me is that I witnessed the greatness of Bonds with my own eyes. And as a Colorado Rockies fan growing up, on the regular.
There are some people in which you can debate their baseball Hall of Fame worthiness. But putting Bonds, with or without PEDs, in the fraternity of greatest players of all time is a no-brainer.
However, where the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum most falls short in its mission to preserve history, honor excellence and connect generations, is it has allowed a group of pious baseball “philosophers” erase an era of baseball’s past.
You cannot tell the history of baseball without Barry Bonds.
His statistics and records speak for themselves. He is the greatest baseball player of a generation, steroids or not.
Omitting Bonds from the Hall of Fame is both hypocritical and sanctimonious.