Baseball’s Steroid Era: A Photographic Odyssey

Perhaps baseball has become dull at times, even excruciating. Six innings of two-hit ball and enough groundouts to numb a large crowd is not what the forefathers had in mind when they created the glorious game of “hitting a ball with a bat and playing catch.” Fans want scores, they want action! Steroids? Who cares, as long as there’s excitement!

Though let’s stop and think; for the players, would more scoreboard-smashing hits and more arm veins really be worth undersized testicles and angry tantrums? Apparently.

In 1999, a season that saw players such as Jay Bell and Mike Lieberthal slug over 30 long ones, players were sending pitches into the triple-deck stands like smashed candy. Here we’ll look at a few of these oversized gentlemen. These reported steroid users entered the league as twigs and escaped as boulders. Observe… (all images via Google Images unless otherwise specified)

First Baseman Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics (1986-1997) and St. Louis Cardinals (1997-2001)

1998 season: A year that cemented McGwire among the greats, the infamous juice was never even suspected. Or was it? .299 average, 70 homeruns, 147 RBI, and a hero’s tale. Until it all came crashing down. Quoted from his interview with Bob Costas, “I believe it was the winter of 1989 into 1990. I was given a couple of week’s worth, tried it, never thought anything of it. I just moved on from it. But as far as using it on a consistent basis, it was the winter of 1993 into 1994.”

Another one bites the dust…