Chris DeMarco, Staff Writer

The past decade of baseball has been deemed the “Steroids Era” of the game. Over the past four years, the game’s writers have had a very difficult decision to make in regards to one of the faces of that era.

Four years ago, Mark McGwire became eligible for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was unable to receive the required 75 percent, getting around 23 percent each year.

This begs the question: should those who have taken steroids deserve to be elected into the Hall of Fame? I believe so, and numerous other respectable writers in the game believe so as well.

For as long as I have followed baseball, steroids seemed to have been involved in the game.

In the case of McGwire, he took steroids that were deemed “legal” and took them during a time in baseball in which drug testing was not mandatory. Steroids do not always make you hit the baseball better or help you play in the field.

They do not enhance your hand-eye coordination, which many argue that the most important skill needed to be successful in the game. All they do is make you bigger and buffer.

Also, as we have seen over the last couple years, many players have used steroids or human growth hormones to help recover from injuries.

Along with McGwire, other possible future Hall of Famers Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez have admitted to doing this.

I think McGwire has fully earned his place in the Hall of Fame. Many prominent writers like Buster Olney, Jayson Stark, and Tim Kurkjian, all of whom have voted for McGwire each year, strongly believe that McGwire has earned his admission regardless of his use of steroids. Current Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt believes that McGwire deserves to be let in.

Many people forget what McGwire has done for the game of baseball. The chase for Roger Maris’ single-season record of 61 home runs between McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998 rejuvenated baseball following the lockout a couple years earlier that almost critically crippled the game for good.

With McGwire chasing the record, people started caring and watching baseball again.

It has been speculated that it is possible that some of the current Hall of Famers could have used steroids during a time in which they could not be detected or were legal.

A lot of the current Hall of Famers were known cheaters (i.e. Gaylord Perry). So why is it any different from what McGwire did when it was legal to do when he did it? It isn’t.

The baseball writers are trying to make a point. In doing so, they have been able to bar certain players from the Hall of Fame.

Do not keep someone who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame out of it. At the time, what McGwire did was something that was legal.

The only thing that he does not have that other admitted users like Rodriguez do have is time. He cannot play another 5-10 years and essentially help people forget what he did.

In no way am I saying that what McGwire did is right, but steroids are a part of the fabric of baseball. There is no way we are going to rid the game of it.

Instead, we should just accept it as part of the game and let those who deserve to be elected into Cooperstown in, whether it is McGwire, Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.

These are players that helped keep baseball as America’s pastime, so why shun them for something that was legal for a long time?

Unfortunately, it seems that the stubborn electors will not waiver their ignorant mindsets all because Jose Canseco tarnished the game in a sleazy way to make a buck.