How the steroid era changed baseball

Greenies (Dexedrine) were a club house staple for decades beginning just after World War II, when ball players drafted into the military returned to the diamond having been exposed to the stimulant pills, which the armed forces dispensed by the millions. Another incubator of baseball speed-freakery was the winter Caribbean baseball circuit. There, players on seasonal hiatus discovered the two coffee pot system, where each club house had one pot with regular coffee and one with an amphetamine additive. Talk about a morning wake me up! The arrival of amphetamines in baseball also marked the emergence of the post-war embrace of better living through chemistry and opened up the debate of the role of performance enhancing drugs in way that booze and tobacco never did. (Smith, 2016, para. 11, 12)

Which made Canseco’s second benefactor — Mike Wallace — all the more important. John Hamlin, a producer at 60 Minutes , had gotten a tip about Canseco’s book from a friend at another network. (The friend couldn’t act on it because his employer was a Major League Baseball rights holder.) Hamlin began calling baseball people and confirming the details. Almost no one would talk on the record, but they suggested that Canseco’s account was true. One of the few allegations Hamlin couldn’t verify was Canseco’s insistence that Roger Clemens was juicing.

The Story: In February 2005 Canseco released his autobiography and steroid tell-all, Juiced , Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big. In it he described himself as 'the chemist' having experimented on himself for years. He claimed to have educated and personally injected many players including Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi. In his second book, Vindicated , Canseco added Magglio Ordonez to the list of players he had educated and injected with steroids. He also said he introduced Alex Rodriguez to a trainer/PED supplier after Rodriguez had asked where he could get steroids.

The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players' League (1890), an attempt to return to the National Association structure of a league controlled by the players themselves. Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.

How the steroid era changed baseball

how the steroid era changed baseball

The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players' League (1890), an attempt to return to the National Association structure of a league controlled by the players themselves. Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.

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