The new class of Baseball’s Hall of Fame has been selected and released to the public. In case you missed it, or weren’t interested, I’m going to recap the names for you anyway. No frills, just names: Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome. If you have a favorite among this crew, congrats.

Just the mention of Baseball puts a smile on my face because it was my Pop’s favorite sport from childhood. I can remember buying Sam a fan called “The Cyclone,” because the air conditioning in his apartment building was on the fritz. I put it in place, set it for medium, and cautioned him not to move the setting. The next day I dropped in to check on him and I could hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd as I came down the hallway. As I opened the door, I witnessed baseball on every device that could carry a picture. And, in the background was Sam with the cyclone on full blast, his hair blowing in the breeze. I thought, “What the heck, he’s happy.”

Tim Lacy

With the selection of this year’s class came a few comments from the talking heads over the fact that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were snubbed again. This is not surprising, because they both carry the stench of cheating with performance-enhancing drugs. Sam was a purist when it came to baseball, and the mention of rewarding someone who cheated would turn the red in his face to burgundy.

Bonds was touted as the “Home Run King” of baseball, but with the press voting on the selectees, Barry doesn’t have a chance.  Barry had an ongoing war with the press his whole career, and most of those guys wouldn’t offer him a tissue if his nose was running.

Roger Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner, but the rats came out of the woodwork and swore they saw him juicing. It is one thing for someone to say I saw something or I heard something, but when the man who provided the juice points the finger, gotcha!

To give you an idea of Barry and Roger’s chances, let me take you back in history a few years. If you are a resident of Earth and own a radio or TV you will probably remember the home run battle between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. These guys were filling stadiums all over the country, and the goal was to break Roger Maris’ single-season homerun record. They took turns putting balls in the cheap seats. This was the greatest show in baseball until somebody said, “Hold the phone, this ain’t normal.  These guys are getting some help.”

As it turns out, they were right. Mark was ingesting Andro, which could be bought over the counter. Investigation showed that Andro contains a steroid hormone called androstenedione. This drug is an alternative to anabolic steroids, a drug with testosterone-like effects, and that’s a no-no.

At that point, the government got involved—nobody messes with America’s pastime. A hearing was scheduled and both players were summoned. Mark showed up, and ‘fessed up. Sammy, who had been giving motivational speeches to every organization except the Kiwanis, provided us with the laugh of the century. Sammy, “No spikka English!” It was at this time I was happy Pop wasn’t here to witness this first-hand. I am sure a few blood vessels would have been in jeopardy.


Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO