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The players that use steroids, knew that they would have to face hard truths, that there ability was eroding and that they would no longer be able to play the game of baseball with the ability that they once had. So they turned to steroids, in hopes that it would resurrect the ability that they once had when they wore a younger mans clothes. Perhaps some of them never really had the talent to play so they turned to the only thing they could find to help them achieve the ability to play at the major league level.
Kenesaw Mountain landess said "Every boy builds a shrine to some baseball hero and before that shrine a candle always burns." Maybe this is why players chose drugs because they were afraid they would no longer have hero status and the shrine would crumble and the candle would burn out.
Few are willing to brave the disapproval of the fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the raft of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity then bravery in battle. For the fortunate among us there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so lavishly spread among us.
All of us will ultimately be judged and, as the years pass they will surely judge themselves on the effort they have made and contributed. So it is them that have to sleep with themselves knowing that they have cheated themselves and the fan.
I was fortunate enough to have visited the hall of fame and it was to me the single greatest place I have ever visited. In the hall there are the plaques of those who played the game with honesty and integrity, many of who didn't sign million dollar contracts. Men who had jobs in the off-season. Those who played the game because they loved it.
It is a child's game and for those that are fortunate enough to play it beyond their childhood years should realize when the time has come to put away your cleats and mitt. They should go with their heads held high for they were able to do what very few are ever given the opportunity to do and that is to play a child's game and get paid for it. It is sad when something comes to an end and it is something that we all must face in one way or another.
I just hope that the use of steroids in professional sports of any kind is behind us and that professional athletes realize that there are boys and girls building shrines and lighting candles for them. I hope they realize that they are role models (like it or not) so when the children see their heroes using performance enhancing drugs it gives them the idea that it is right. I guess we will always be left with that haunting error in professional baseball and professional sports of all kinds. I just hope that it will be corrected and those who make it to the hall of fame will be like those that paved the way before them where they played the game with the ability that God gave them and play it with only that. Baseball will survive after all it is the great American pass time and this fan will continue to watch and continue to have my heroes and build my shrines and occasionally light a candle.