Baseball is really the hardest to get into, I believe. There are lots of big names left out every year. Interestingly, because baseball is more of a game of individuals, it makes the selection process more interesting (in my opinion) as well.
You're quite right, Mark, however, in this day and age, steroids play a major role in so many sports, including baseball. Their use has contaminated sports, in my opinion, which once were relatively clean and legitimate. I use the term, "relatively clean" because, baseball, in particular, has never been completely void of game fixings and other scandals.
Players like Barry Bonds who has just become the home run king in MLB, to me, are undeserving of their distinction. In fact, once it is proven that a player has used performance enhancing drugs, I don’t think they should even be a consideration for the Hall. Even if there is no concrete proof that a player has used drugs to improve his performance, but it remains highly alleged that he did, I think Hall inductions should wait until the truth is known.
It could be argued that Babe Ruth drank a lot, in fact, some say he was a drunk. Booze however will counteract a players performance, not enhance it, so in a way, Ruth played with one hand tied behind his back; not that I think he was smart to do this because if anything, we still don’t know the great player Ruth might have been without the booze.
Then there is the case of Pete Rose, who remains one of the greatest ball players I have ever witnessed. Unfortunately, he was involved in gambling scandals which he eventually admitted to.
To me, he doesn’t belong in the Hall, either. His induction sends the wrong message to children and his career was sullied by his very stupid actions of betting on games he played in.
The Baseball Hall of Fame, again in my opinion, should be for very special people who have legitimately excelled at their sport. This should be the case for Hall of Fame candidates in any sport.
The same course of action should be the “Rule” for Olympic athletes, cyclists in the Tour d’ France, etc. These distinctions should be earned and well deserved, so that when the public enters a truly hallowed hall, they know, they’re looking at the history of someone with absolute integrity who excelled at his/her sport.
I’m fully aware that there may be some arguments against my opinions, especially by today’s younger generation, but nevertheless, they remain my opinions.
The problem in today’s world, would be finding people who meet this criteria.