ESPN's Hall voters on McGwire

Updated: January 12, 2010, 11:36 PM ET
ESPN.com

In his four years on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, Mark McGwire has never received more than 23.7 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. ESPN employs 15 voters, and the majority of them shared whether McGwire's steroids admission impacted their vote, either for or against him.


Howard Bryant

2010 vote: No

Mark McGwire's admission does not affect my view of him as a Hall of Fame player. He only confirmed my suspicions. He admitted to using steroids beginning in 1989, his third year in the league. He admitted to using steroids when he broke the single-season home run record. I did not believe him to be Hall of Fame worthy then. I have never voted for him in the past and will not in the future.


Jim Caple

2010 vote: Yes

It does not affect my vote. I have always voted for McGwire and will continue to do so. The same people demonizing him now are the ones who glorified him in 1998, even though we all had our suspicions then. I view his use of steroids similarly to how I view amphetamines, which were used by players for decades. McGwire did not violate a specific baseball rule -- unlike, say, Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. If you want to make a mention of such use on a Hall of Fame plaque, fine. But let the guy in.


Jerry Crasnick

2010 vote: No

I've passed on Mark McGwire in his first four appearances on the Hall of Fame ballot, in part because I suspected a big bombshell might drop from the sky and change the equation. Now that it's happened, I wish I could say that McGwire's admission helped his cause. But I can't. If this prompts other prominent steroids users to go public and drum home how widespread usage was during the "steroids era,'' maybe we can judge McGwire strictly by his cartoon numbers. The problem is, McGwire's steroids use encompassed a sizable portion of his career, and I suspect some very ugly details are going to emerge. The other problem is that McGwire was such a one-trick pony. His big calling card, power, was almost certainly enhanced by his steroids use, and he drew a lot of his walks because pitchers were scared to death to face him. McGwire's admission and show of regret might help ease his conscience and pave the way for him to work in baseball, but unless things change, I don't think he'll ever get my Hall of Fame vote.


Gordon Edes

2010 vote: Yes

I have voted for McGwire because I feel I am not qualified to serve as judge and jury on who was using steroids in an era in which they were used widely. We have little choice but to judge players on their performance during an era in which admittedly the playing field was not level. McGwire says he wishes he never played in the steroids era? I wish we didn't have to vote on the players who did.


Pedro Gomez

2010 vote: No

Full disclosure: I have not voted for Mark McGwire in any of the four years he's been on the ballot and the news that he has now admitted using performance-enhancing drugs won't change my mind. I covered McGwire in Oakland and always thought he was a nice enough person. But that's not what we're talking about here. McGwire chose to do something that he knew was illegal. And somewhere in the recesses of his mind, he had to know that the check would come due some day. The price for injecting yourself is exclusion from the Hall of Fame.


Tony Jackson

2010 vote: No

Mark McGwire's admission will have no impact on my Hall of Fame vote for the simple reason that I had already made the choice not to vote for him based on the high probability -- or, more to the point, the virtual certainty -- that he had, in fact, used steroids during his playing career. I have been a Hall of Fame voter for the past three years, and I haven't included Mr. McGwire on any of the three ballots I have submitted. I will continue to decline to vote for him in the years to come despite the fact he put up Hall of Fame numbers over the course of his career and despite his admission. The admission was admirable and courageous, but it doesn't change what happened.


Michael Knisley

2010 vote: No

I haven't trusted McGwire's numbers enough in the past to vote for him. His revelation confirms my doubts. I know for certain now that at least some of his fabulous power came from a place that doesn't do the game of baseball proud. He did not come by his home runs honestly. Does his admission impact my Hall of Fame votes? Yes. It adds to my conviction that my votes should go elsewhere.


Tim Kurkjian

2010 vote: Yes

I have voted for McGwire in each of the four years he has been eligible for the Hall of Fame. I will continue to vote for him. His numbers are worthy: a slugging percentage nearly 100 points higher than Reggie Jackson's, an on-base average higher than Willie Mays' and 12 All-Star selections -- no one makes 12 All-Star teams without going to the Hall. Steroids use, obviously, has kept him around 23 percent of the vote for four years. I vote for him because, it seems to me, that this was an era-wide issue. It seems to me that hundreds of players did performance-enhancing drugs during this era. But we still don't know exactly who did what, and exactly what effect steroids have on performance. In the absence of all the facts, I will vote for McGwire. He has 11 years left on the ballot, and there's simply no way he's going to make it.


Buster Olney

2010 vote: Yes

I will vote for McGwire, as I will vote for all of the elite players from that time we know as the steroids era. I believe most of the elite players of the time used performance-enhancing drugs, in the absence of oversight from the union or Major League Baseball -- but in trying to formulate a consistent standard on this issue, I do not know who did what. Which leaves me two options: Vote for nobody, or set aside the issue of performance-enhancing drugs and simply vote for the best players of the era. Separate of that: It's not the place for writers to be making these kinds of decisions. We shouldn't be involved in the HOF voting.


Peter Pascarelli

2010 vote: No

I've not voted for McGwire and this latest chapter is unlikely to change my mind. It's not as if McGwire's admission, while admirable in its candor, comes as a surprise to anyone. My reluctance to vote for him exists on several levels. For one, the automatic admission of 500 home run hitters has been tainted by the whole PED culture. For another, even with his giant home run numbers, McGwire was an exceedingly one-dimensional player. Home runs were all he brought to the table -- he did not hit for average, he was not a great RBI producer, he had relatively few other extra-base hits besides the home run, he was average defensively, a poor runner, etc. He also had a string of very poor seasons that coincidentally ended with what have been known as his steroids seasons. Roger Maris is not in the Hall of Fame because his great seasons were too few in number. McGwire should not be in the Hall of Fame for largely the same, albeit bloated, reason.


Brendan Roberts

2010 vote: Yes

I was one of the few on staff who voted for him before his admission, but it wasn't because I felt he didn't use performance-enhancing drugs. I wasn't born yesterday; I knew there had to be something behind a 250-pound man having a 32-inch waist. I just don't think his power or tremendous batting eye came from a syringe. Did it help? Sure. But even with a "percentage" of his power taken away, he was still one of the top sluggers (and walk artists) in baseball history.


Mark Saxon

2010 vote: No

He's a .263 lifetime hitter. His only qualification is the home run totals, which are the easiest numbers to correlate with PED use. Unfortunately, voting for players from the steroids era requires subjective judgments, but this one seems pretty objective to me.


Jayson Stark

2010 vote: Yes

I was voting for Mark McGwire before this admission. I won't stop now. As I've said many times, it wasn't just a handful of players who used PEDs in the '90s. It was hundreds. So the only fair way to handle that era is to vote for all the great players of that time or none. Personally, I think the solution is to elect these guys but to also be honest. This just frees us to put the truth on Mark McGwire's plaque: "He broke the all-time single-season home run record in 1998 -- and later admitted he used steroids while doing it."