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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Is Jeff Bagwell a Hall of Famer?

Jeff Bagwell hit 449 home runs in his career, but is he
worthy of joining the Hall of Fame with steroid rumors flying?
Former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell is eligible and appears on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this winter.  And, for the first time among the mainstream media, suspicion of steroid use throughout Bagwell's career has been questioned. 

Steroids or not, Bagwell's numbers make him Hall of Fame worthy, especially when you factor in what he did for baseball in the city of Houston. 

Bagwell hit .297 for his career and bombed 449 home runs, the kind of numbers that automatically qualified a player for the Hall of Fame before the steroid era.

But Bagwell has been pegged to be guilty by association, not only because of the time period in which he played the game, but also with some of his close relationships in baseball, including the deceased Ken Caminiti, an admitted rampant steroid user.

That being said, I believe Bagwell did steroids. 

I also believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame because he helped make baseball relevant in Houston and was certainly a great player during his tainted era.   

Bagwell denies he used steroids throughout his career.  Here is a snippet of a few of the quotes from an interview with Jerry Crasnick that can be found here. 

"I never used [steroids], and I'll tell you exactly why: If I could hit between 30 and 40 home runs every year and drive in 120 runs, why did I need to do anything else? I was pretty happy with what I was doing, and that's the God's honest truth. All of a sudden guys were starting to hit 60 or 70 home runs and people were like, 'Dude, if you took [PEDs], you could do it too.' And I was like, 'I'm good where I'm at. I just want to do what I can do.'

"I know a lot of people are saying, 'His body got bigger.' Well, if you're eating 30 pounds of meat every single day and you're working out and bench pressing, you're going to get bigger. You can go to every single trainer and they'll say, 'He was the first here and last to leave, and that dude worked his ass off.'

"Here's my whole thing when people ask me about the Hall of Fame: Would I be honored to death to be in the Hall of Fame? Of course I would. But it doesn't consume me at all. I loved every single part of what I did as a baseball player. But I've got my kids, I've got my family, and getting in the Hall of Fame isn't going to affect my life one way or the other. And it won't make me feel any better about my career."


  1. Let me get this straight, Bagwell and Caminiti were friends therefore Bagwell used steroids too? Ridiculous. By those criteria everyone on the Astro and Padres Teams at that time used too. Absolutely insane. Bagwell never tested positive for anything other than being a quality human being and a superb ball player. Those who proliferate such slander should be aware that they themselves may in future be judged on that criteria.
    Bagwell belongs in the hall as does Biggio. The writers who sprwead such unfounded rumor belong on the National Enquirer looking for aliens in the fields of Iowa.

  2. Being in the HOF will indeed affect his life -- financially. He will get more for writing his name on a piece of paper, and he will get a share in the profits of the HOF and everything it sells. Jeff, there is money on the table here.