The Age of Steroids will be front and center, as this AP story explains.
“Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. headline the first-time candidates on the 2007 baseball writers’ Hall of Fame ballot released Monday, sure to spark debate on Big Mac’s place in history as the steroid era comes under renewed scrutiny. Jose Canseco, whose book last year led to a congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball, also is on the ballot for the first time. Canseco said he used steroids along with McGwire when they were teammates.
“...Reporters who have been in the BBWAA for 10 or more consecutive years are eligible to vote, and the totals will be announced Jan. 9. The complete ballot:
“Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Dante Bichette, Bert Blyleven, Bobby Bonilla, Scott Brosius, Jay Buhner, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco, Dave Concepcion, Eric Davis, Andre Dawson, Tony Fernandez, Steve Garvey, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Tony Gwynn, Orel Hershiser, Tommy John, Wally Joyner, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Paul O’Neill, Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Jr., Bret Saberhagen, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Devon White, Bobby Witt.”
Please note that once again scumbag Pete Rose is not on the above list. Good. Beyond that my guess is that both Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken will be voted in easily; their credentials are impeccable.
However, Mark McGwire has been so tarnished by suspicion he brought on himself that he will not get enough backing to make it this time. For the rest of the list, it’s hard to say. What will be more than a little interesting will be the debate over how much suspected steroids-use should matter in considering an otherwise qualified player for induction into the Hall.