Steroid users should be allowed in the Baseball Hall of Fame
Resolution: As Pro I will show why it is unjustified to deny a baseball Hall of Fame candidate a vote for induction based on that players steroid history. Con must show why it is justified for steroid users to be denied a Hall of Fame vote.
This is a debate about the broader context of this issue and does not center on any one specific example.
Steroids: Includes all banned substances recognized as performance enhancing drugs. (Steroids just sounds so much more controversial)
National Hall of Fame: located at 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326
Challenger: Please be serious, no semantics. Please make sure you can commit to finishing this debate prior to accepting.
Rules: Standard debate rules apply. Round 1 for acceptance only. No new arguments in round 4.
Voters: Voters are reminded that personal knowledge or opinion of the resolution prior to the debate should not play any role in voting. Votes should be based only on the arguments made in this debate. If you are unfamiliar with acceptable voting criteria, please read the following article before continuing:
I wish my opponent good luck and look forward to a good debate.
BBWAA ELECTION RULES
1. Authorization: By authorization of the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is authorized to hold an election every year for the purpose of electing members to the National Baseball Hall of Fame from the ranks of retired baseball players.
2. Electors: Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.
3. Eligible Candidates -- Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:
A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).
C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
E. Any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.
4. Method of Election:
A. BBWAA Screening Committee �€" A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
B. Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.
C. Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
6. Automatic Elections: No automatic elections based on performances such as a batting average of .400 or more for one (1) year, pitching a perfect game or similar outstanding achievement shall be permitted.
7. Time of Election: The duly authorized representatives of the BBWAA shall prepare, date and mail ballots to each elector no later than the 15th day of January in each year in which an election is held. The elector shall sign and return the completed ballot within twenty (20) days. The vote shall then be tabulated by the duly authorized representatives of the BBWAA.
8. Certification of Election Results: The results of the election shall be certified by a representative of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and an officer of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. The results shall be transmitted to the Commissioner of Baseball. The BBWAA and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. shall jointly release the results for publication.
9. Amendments: The Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. n justice is right for doing it they are wrong for ruining the sport.
Thanks to Con for accepting.
As my resolution made clear, I believe that a players history of use concerning performance enhancing drugs(PED’s) should not disqualify them from induction into the Hall of Fame which has been the case for many players so far. The following 5 contentions will outline my case.
1. PED’s have been around for over a century:
PED reports and allegations have nearly always been a part of baseball history. The first account of PED’s in baseball dates back to 1889, when a pitcher named Pud Galvin was widely known for his use of a substance called elixir which contained monkey testosterone(1). In the home run race of 1961 Mickey Mantle developed an abscess from an infected needle containing steroids and speed, also Hank Aaron admitted to once taking an amphetamine tablet during a game in his autobiography(2). Former pitcher Tom House admitted using steroids in the 60’s and 70’s when he played, estimating that about 6 or 7 pitchers per team were experimenting with some type of steroids or human growth hormone at that time(3). Even Babe Ruth has been said to have missed a game from falling ill by injecting himself with sheep’s testes(4). There are far more examples to list but I believe my point has been made clear. To suggest that this is a new phenomenon is simply wishful thinking.
2. There was no policy against PED’s until 2006:
One of the biggest reasons most people use to justify why steroid users should not be allowed in the Hall of Fame is because of the allegation that they are cheaters. However in order to be a cheater you must break the rules. Baseball did not officially ban PED’s until the spring of 2006 so although it may not be considered “right”, it does make a very tough allegation to justify denying a hall of fame vote(5).
3. Hall of Fame votes should be consistent:
While the Hall of Fame does have guidelines on how to vote, they are very vague and leave it up to the voters to interpret what criteria to use in making the decision. It has always been done this way but this is the first time in baseball history that there has been such controversy and differences in opinion on a particular criteria. This has made the process very unclear, unpredictable, and extremely biased. It is virtually unanimous that there should be a clear guideline on any topic as controversial as this one. My contention is that the only clear guideline is to establish that steroid users who have met all other criteria be voted in, as my next point will continue to illustrate.
4. There is no reasonable place to draw the line:
The ever lasting problem for those who decide that users should be denied induction, is that no matter what criteria is used to make the decision it will in one way or another, be an improperly biased vote. The only positive tests of any significance prior to enactment of MLB’s drug policy were in 2003 when 104 players tested positive for some type of PED. But there was a strict agreement between MLB and the players union that the players who tested positive remain anonymous. The list of these players is currently under a federal court seal(6).
Besides that there is little basis for decision beyond choosing to deny only admitted users, or to include highly suspected users. If you deny only admitted users then you are punishing players for coming out and telling the truth, while allowing players who obviously lied to get in. If you include highly suspected users then you will wind up denying a player’s induction on the basis of “a hunch” as it is nearly impossible to establish who was guilty of use.
There is also the concept of denying all players who played during the “steroid era”. My next point will go more into why this concept is unjust, but even if this argument is accepted then where would you draw the line? There is no way to determine exactly when this era began, and there is also the problem of the players who played part of their careers during this era. It seems pretty ridiculous to set a rule disqualifying any player who played X amount of years from 19XX to 2005 just for being active during these years.
5. Sanctity of the Hall of Fame:
I agree with the common argument that the Hall of Fame is “sacred grounds” and that allowing known or even highly suspected users into it, will ruin that sanctity. However the sanctity of the baseball Hall of Fame comes from the sanctity of baseball history. Controlling this problem was the responsibility of Major League Baseball and they failed in that responsibility by turning a blind eye to what was clearly going on. It is shameful that players had to play during a time when refusing to take PED’s would leave them at a disadvantage over their competition but like it or not, that is what happened. We can not deny our history, and the sanctity of the Hall of Fame can not escape the steroid era.
We all wish that steroids were not a part of baseball history but there is nothing we can do to change the fact that it is, nor is there any way to accurately distinguish between who is guilty of using them and who was not. Because of this and the reality that these players were mostly a product of the era they played in, there is no reasonable justification for denying any player a place in the Hall of Fame based on the fact that they had admitted or were suspected of using steroids.
polish666 forfeited this round.
My opponent has only participated in 1 other debate which was forfeited, in addition to forfeiting in this last round. I asked in the rules that my opponent be serious and able to commit to this debate. Con has shown the opposite. I would ask that Con not continue at this point so that I can save my efforts on a strong and full debate which I will re-post in the challenge screen.
polish666 forfeited this round.
My opponent hasn't been online since posting his copy and paste round one. I wonder if he knows he was supposed to come back.
polish666 forfeited this round.
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