Using Steroids in Baseball
The illegal use of steroids in baseball has been a perennial problem for Major League Baseball. Several players have declared recently that drug use is out of control in baseball. In fact, around 25 to 40 percent of all Major Leaguers are on drugs. Players have attempted to gain chemical advantages in baseball since the earliest days of the sport. Steroids have finally been banned from the substances that athletes can use since 1991. However, testing for major league players did not begin until the 2003 season. Although testing for steroids continues, the usage did not stop. From 1991 to 2003 the steroid era was literally out of control which destroyed many great names and many great records.
One of the players using performance-enhancing substances was pitcher Pud Galvin who became the first baseball player to be widely known for his use of drugs. Galvin was a user and vociferous advocate for the Brown-Séquard Elixir, a male steroid supplement which was made from the testicles of live animals such as dogs and guinea pigs. During World War II, both the Allied and Axis powers methodically supplied amphetamines to their soldiers for improving their endurance and mental concentration. After the end of the war, many of those returning troops attended college, and when they did, they applied their knowledge of the benefits of amphetamine use initially to college sports, and later to professional sports which included professional baseball.
Former pitcher Tom House, who was active in MLB from 1971-1978, has admitted to using steroids they wouldn’t give to horses during his professional sports career. According to House, the use of performance-enhancing drugs was very common during that time and he estimates that “six or seven” pitchers on every team used steroids experimentally or they used human growth hormone and says that after losses, players would frequently joke that they’d been “out-milli-grammed” instead of saying that they had been beaten. Third baseman Mike Schmidt, an active player from 1972-1989, admitted to Murray Chass in 2006 that he had used amphetamines “a couple of times”. He also said that amphetamines “were widely available in major-league clubhouses” during the time that he was playing and that “amphetamine use in baseball is both far more common and has been going on a lot longer than steroid abuse”.
During the Pittsburgh drug trials in 1985, many players gave evidence about the use of amphetamines in baseball. Shortstop Dale Berra admitted that he had used “greenies” while playing for both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the AAA Portland Beavers, and stated that while in Pittsburgh between 1979 and 1984 he had been supplied with the drugs by teammates Bill Madlock andWillie Stargell.