Posted September 03, 2013

Eric Byrnes: Hall of Famer from ’70s and ’80s used steroids

MLB
Eric Byrnes said he nows a Hall of Famer who used steroids. (John Williamson/Getty Images)

Eric Byrnes said he knows of a prominent Hall of Famer who used steroids. (John Williamson/Getty Images)

Former major leaguer Eric Byrnes, writing for checkswing.com, attempts to provide some perspective for those debating Major League Baseball’s steroid era and how it relates to Hall of Fame selection. His main contention is that some players have been using steroids long before Jose Canseco helped lift the veil on the formerly taboo topic, specifically regarding MLB players in the ’90s.

As a result, record-breaking players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire — who were later linked to performance-enhancing drug use — have failed to receive enough votes for Hall of Fame induction.

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Byrnes, who is now an analyst for MLB Network after an 11-year MLB career, said he was shocked to hear that a prominent Hall of Fame player used steroids:

Disturbingly, not long ago I was having dinner with a former long time Major League player that spoke about the steroid use of a prominent Hall of Famer that played the majority of his career in the 70′s and 80′s… Ha! Not like I was shocked but damn… So many members of the Hall of Fame, including this character, have recently spoken out and condemned guys who have had ties to performance enhancing drugs, saying there is no place for “cheaters” in the HOF… I just wonder how many of the other guys in the “Hall” were actually cheaters themselves?

Brynes does not name the Hall of Famer in question.


161 comments
Victor_Newman
Victor_Newman

if you guys knew what a jackhole eric byrnes was you wouldnt be surprise. he was the ultimate fake hustle guy in baseball. he would run and dive at balls like superman in a cape on shot at which he had no chance. he ended up stealing tens of millions from the dbacks and was trying to make it as a slow pitch soft ball player while still under contract. the fact that this fraud has a job in baseball is a disgrace for the mlb network. i won't be tuning in.

scott68
scott68

I know steroids are frowned upon today but I would remind Eric that in the time frame that he is talking about steroids were completely legal and not even considered a controlled substance. It was not until 1991 that steroids became banned from baseball. I would also like to point out that when used properly under a Dr's supervision steroids are a legit medication that can help improve recovery. What I would like to have explained is how can it be called cheating in the 70's and 80's if the drug was still legal to use? Is it legit to use today's standards to criticize players that had no rules and regulations to prevent steroid use? How can something be wrong then when in the 70's and 80's there was nothing saying it was wrong then? I know I will get hammered by someone for this post but I just cant see a connection to cheating when there was no rule against steroid use. If no rules were broken no foul.

ClutchFan
ClutchFan

Doc Ellis threw a no-hitter while tripping on acid, so steroids in that era would not be surprising

grogers5
grogers5

oh man..byrnes should shut the f.... up cuz he causes more problem..whos cares about the past...time to move on ..

Ed28
Ed28

Nolan Ryan

llbplayball
llbplayball

What a cowardly report by Byrnes....better look for a job he can handle.

HughJardon
HughJardon

Eric Byrnes has little credibility unless he is willing to stand behind a statement where he makes more than allusions to people. 

FifthInTheOrder
FifthInTheOrder

I know of a Former major leaguer who is now an analyst for MLB Network after an 11-year MLB career who heard that a prominent Hall of Fame player used steroids.

CraigMitchell
CraigMitchell

The player he is referring to is Rickey Henderson. Henderson played from 1979 to 2003....this one is a no brainer.....

grignon
grignon

We know the game in the 70's was rife with coke, pot, speed, even acid. Why would it surprise that some/many players used drugs that actually IMPROVED their game?


I had a high school team mate in 1972 who, along with his two brothers and dad,  showed classic steroid use symptoms. Back zits, hair loss, rage and huge muscles. If a nobody in N Wisconsin could get steroids, a pro baseball player could too.

why knot
why knot

If it is important enough to discuss, it is important enough to provide names.  Otherwise, rumor and innuendo.

GiovaniSmith
GiovaniSmith

Where's the story???

This sounds made up to me. Eric Byrnes is looking for a little publicity - and has found it.

Shame on si.com!

TheMinimumDose
TheMinimumDose

Probably won't know who the guy was till he dies...

Michael10
Michael10

Polzer sounds a little bit like Pulitzer.

That's the first and last time you'll see those two names in the same sentence...

closetjaysfan
closetjaysfan

What a stupid article.  Is there someone in the hall from that era that used steroids? Probably.  But this is not proof of that.

LarryB
LarryB

So, why do you even open up about this? Hey, I also know a drug user from the 80s also, but I'm not going to say. What an idiot to draw attention...

WarrenTwocock
WarrenTwocock

Wow, Byrnes "was having dinner with a former long time Major League player that spoke about the steroid use of a prominent Hall of Famer that played the majority of his career in the 70′s and 80′s", so it's third party evidence at best and SI runs with it ?

Terrible journalism .

rpearlston
rpearlston

Now that's (Byrne) is what I call cowardice.  If you're certain of this, then name names.  If you're not certain, then keep your mouth shut!  It's what your mother taught you (or tried to teach you).

x72
x72

Dennis Eckersly

DanRinkes
DanRinkes

So, lemme get this straight, you were having dinner with a friend, and he told you that someone else that played baseball in the 70's and 80's used steroids, and you thought that this was enough for a story and SI thought it was enough to publish it?  

Seriously dude, crawl back in your hole and don't come back out until you have something that is a) newsworthy and b) credible.

BlakeBradley
BlakeBradley

We know the Pittsburgh Steelers were using in the 70's, so I'm not sure why its considered unthinkable by so many people that baseball players could have been using as well. We also know baseball players in the 70's and 80's were using amphetamines which are against the rules.

LeeMorrell
LeeMorrell

My mama always taught me that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything.  Mr. Byrnes, if you don't know facts, don't say jack...

x72
x72

Jim Rice

x72
x72

Steve Garvey

Scramble
Scramble

Davey Johnson, though not in the hall of fame.

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

Hearsay, heard it from somebody who knew the dude was using.  Not saying it's not true, it probably is but we can't go by that.  Would't surprise many I don't think.  

x72
x72

Carl Yaztremski

EricBenghaziPorvaznik
EricBenghaziPorvaznik

Al Hrabosky, duh. You wouldn't like the 'roid-rage Hungarian when he was "Mad."

JonathanNathan
JonathanNathan

@CraigMitchellAnd that's your definition of "played the majority of his career in the 70s and 80s"? Stay in school, kiddo.

HughJardon
HughJardon

@grignon Please....you don't have to be on steroids to have an angry personality. Hair loss runs in family genes. Weight lifting gives one muscles and most high schoolers have zits.

Your assumptions are a huge reach

GiovaniSmith
GiovaniSmith

@x72 

Eckersley is a skinny, skinny dude that never showed an aggressive side. He probably did tons of drugs but those were probably pot and coke not steroids.

Lufts
Lufts

@BlakeBradley You mean besides their various convictions for sale and distribution of them?

#31
#31

@BlakeBradley What proof do you have that even one player from the Steelers ever used steroids?  You are an idiot

WarrenTwocock
WarrenTwocock

@x72 Which Hall of Fame are we talking about, because Garvey sure isn't in the one in Cooperstown.


somm24
somm24

@BabyHuey3B God i hope it wasnt Schmitty..my idol growing up playing ball

CraigMitchell
CraigMitchell

It always interests me why someone would take the time to be purposely nasty to a total stranger. Especially since I didn't insult or act disrespectful to you to begin with. My only conclusion is your self esteem is lower than Joe West's strike zone. I did stay in school and was a sportscaster for 19 years.

orangecuse15
orangecuse15

@HughJardon @grignon you are a moron. Keep your head in the sand. Teammates on my D-2 football team in the early 80's were on roids...

GiovaniSmith
GiovaniSmith

@goodtesttaker

Well Alzado wasn't on the Steelers but here is a quote from him in a Sports Illustrated article right before he died in 1992:

"I started taking anabolic steroids in 1969 and never stopped."

If he was taking steroids, then there were probably others as well. No surprise there.