Hall of Fame slugger and former home run king Hank Aaron is still swinging away, only now he’s targeting a couple of fellow long-ball hitters.
On the eve of Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction, Aaron told baseball writers in Cooperstown that players linked to steroids such as Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire should have an asterisk by their name if they enter the Hall.
“You put these guys in, put an asterisk beside their names,” Aaron told the San Francisco Chronicle. “To be safe, that’s the only way I see you can do it. I played the game long enough to know it is impossible for players, I don’t care who it is, to hit 70-plus home runs. It just does not happen.”
McGwire, who hit 70 homers in 1998, and Bonds, who slugged 73 in 2001, have been accused of using steroids. Aaron (755), who is second in career homers to Bonds (762), added it’s a good idea to “somewhere on the (Hall of Fame) plaque or beside his name say, ‘Hey, 73 home runs and he’s been accused …’ ”
Aaron added that several Hall members would likely boycott the induction of players linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
I have to (accept them),” Aaron, 75, told USA Today. “I’m only one person. But if somebody votes somebody into the Hall of Fame, if possible, I would be there to welcome them.”
Not all fellow Hall of Famers are as compromising as Aaron.
“I think if you cheated, you shouldn’t be allowed in,” Goose Gossage, a 2008 inductee, told USA Today. “I just think it’s a bad things. The numbers just don’t mean the same.
“If I was a writer, I wouldn’t even consider (voting for a steroid user). It’s a no-brainer.”