New Baseball Heroes Set on its Way
By Glenn Guzzo
Strat-O-Matic wants your help choosing the roster for a new set of baseball greats.
The 108-player Baseball Heroes set, to be released at at a later date, will include retired players from all eras of Major League Baseball. The ratings for the two-sided cards (basic on one side, with advanced/super-advanced on the other) will be based on statistics from each player’s seven best seasons, adjusted for the era he played in.
Here is the question Strat-O-Matic wants you to answer before the 2010 MLB Opening Day (April 4) in an online poll at www.strat-o-matic.com:
Here is the question Strat-O-Matic wants you to answer before the 2010 Opening Day (April 4) in an online poll at www.strat-o-matic.com:
- Should the set include recently retired players who have been implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs?
This question concerns Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa.
Like other Strat-O-Matic customer polls, the vote is not necessarily the last word on the subject. But history shows that SOM has given heavy consideration to such votes.
So here’s your chance to dish on a hot topic that has dominated conversation about the National Pastime. Here’s a little fuel for the fire:
FOR THOSE IMPLICATED IN THE USE OF DRUGS:
a) Strat-O-Matic has produced sets of all-time greats with the likes of Joe Jackson, Pete Rose and Carl Mays, superior players with “tainted” histories, so the precedent is established.
b) A 108-player set will include many players with stats and honors inferior to these players.
c) We had the so-called steroid era in the 1990s and early 2000s, but other baseball greats include spit-ball pitchers, batters who fattened their stats in the Lively Ball era of the 1920s and 1930s, and pitchers who benefited from the Dead Ball era and the pitcher-friendly 1960s, with its tall mounds and strike zones.
d) Clemens and Bonds, at least, were already among the greatest players in history before the so-called steroid era began and before the period where they were linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
e) If we exclude these five players, how do we know that other players who are included in the set won’t eventually be linked to performance-enhancing drugs?
AGAINST THOSE IMPLICATED IN THE USE OF DRUGS:
a) Jackson, Rose and Mays were tainted by behavior that did not affect their statistics. In the case of performance-enhancing drugs, the on-field credentials of the players are in question.
b) They may have far-superior stats to others who will be in this set, but the PED-users built those stats by disreputable behavior. Their stats therefore aren’t comparable.
c) Many eras have their peculiarities, but those were legislated rules of the day. And most of the players who achieved such credentials as 500 homers or 300 wins under those conditions did not achieve them with artificial help. Any artificial help had minor impact when compared to the use of steroids.
d) Concerning Clemens and Bonds, this decision is likely to be all or none: Either let the tainted players into the set, or exclude them all.
e) We don’t know that others included in the set won’t eventually be linked to PEDs, but it’s innocent until proven guilty. It’s unfair to convict players without evidence. Just because others haven’t been linked to PEDs doesn’t acquit those with evidence against them.