Aaron suggests Hall of Fame asterisks for Bonds, McGwire
Hank Aaron, ever so gracious in congratulating Barry Bonds on the night he broke Aaron's all-time record, suggested today that Bonds might belong in Cooperstown with an asterisk on his plaque.
On the day Andre Dawson was elected to the Hall of Fame, Aaron spoke with Sirius XM Radio about how the Hall should handle the steroid era.
"Do you think we should put an asterisk by this era and still vote guys in?" host Jim Duquette asked.
"If they’re guilty that's what you should do," Aaron said. "If they’re guilty they should come in with that because that, from what we gather, is part of why the record is where it is.
"I say this, and no pun intended to anybody, but I just don’t believe anyone can go out there and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and hit 75 or 70 home runs. I just don’t believe it, you know, without having some kind of help.”
Aaron did not name any players, but his comments speak for themselves. Bonds and Mark McGwire are the only players to hit at least 70 home runs in a season.
McGwire received 23.7% of the vote this year, up from 21.9% last year but far from the 75% required for election. Bonds will be eligible for election for the first time in 2013 -- along with Roger Clemens, who also has been linked to steroid use.
Bonds has won a record seven Most Valuable Player awards, Clemens a record seven Cy Young awards.
Aaron also said Pete Rose, banned from baseball for gambling, should be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
"He made a mistake," Aaron said. "I think he’s the first one to say he made a mistake. And I think that it’s time for us to say, ‘Hey, let’s wash our hands and give Pete what he deserves.’ And that’s to be in the Hall of Fame with the rest of the guys.”
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo: Hank Aaron. Credit: Brett Coomer / Associated Press.