First of all I will admit that I am a huge baseball fan and in particular I am a fan of the history of baseball. One of the great things about following baseball are the statistics. I can still remember when I was a kid going through my massive collection of baseball cards memorizing league leaders in HRs, RBI’s, BA, etc…
There are a few numbers that were burned into my mind:
For all you true baseball fans, those numbers are as easy to remember as your cell number, home address, and birth date.
My favorite player when I was growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. He was drafted #1 overall by the Seattle Mariners in 1987. He made his major league debut in 1989 right about the time I was starting to follow baseball. I was 10 years old and was filling my head with stats, stats, and more stats. I also remember reading an article talking about how special the 500 home run club was. I wondered… would I see someone get to that milestone.
As of May 22, Bonds is at 745 HRs. 11 HRs from breaking the all-time home run record. Now that I have a chance to see someone not only reach the 500 HR plateau, but actually break the record I don’t know how to feel. Obviously the record is tainted… I really do feel cheated. I feel like that little starry-eyed 10 year old Shane is seeing all the stats he loved just blown up into little pieces.
I am not blaming Bonds for taking this special occasion away from me. I truly blame the owners of the baseball teams. That’s right I said the owners. You see when the MLB players decided to strike in the fall of 1994 it had a huge impact on baseball. Fans were fed up with the greedy owners and players. When baseball resumed in the spring of 1995, attendance dropped to all-time lows. The owners were losing money with all those empty seats. So did they really question things when all of the sudden people like Sammy Sosa were hitting 60+ HRs in 3 out of 4 years when it had only been done twice previous to that?
Look right at me… I want you to understand this:
Baseball didn’t even have a policy on Steroid use until 2002
Before 2002, Major League Baseball had no official policy on steroid use among players. As part of a collective bargaining agreement, players and owners agree to hold survey testing in 2003. If more than 5% of results from the anonymous tests are positive, formal testing and penalties will be put into place the next year.
What do you all think about the record? Are you ok with it? Leave your comments folks!