Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.
A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Reds great argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.
“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”
Morgan he doesn’t speak for every member of the Hall, but that many of them share his opinion.
Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.
About 430 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from the BBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.
One of the Big Red Machine's most beloved players, Morgan was part of five division championships, three National League pennants and two World Series championships with the Reds. In addition, Morgan was named the NL MVP in both the 1975 and 1976 championship seasons.
Morgan was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1987 and his uniform number, 8, was retired in 1998. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.