Authors: Patrick Antinori and Rodney J. Blackman
Dr. Rodney Blackman
United States Sports Academy
One Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526
Patrick Antinori is Director of Global Sales for Phoenix Bats, a hardwood bat supplier for Major League Baseball. He is also a graduate student at the United States Sports Academy.
Rodney J. Blackman, is an Associate Professor and Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy
To a young fan whose innocence is preserved, baseball can represent the very best of life. Adult fans support this in a variety of ways. But, the history of the game has a less-than-noble side. The steroid era in baseball has been widely considered as a blemish on the visage of baseball, leaving the people involved and the game itself open to disdain and disparagement. Until recently, the writers who elect people to the Baseball Hall of Fame have echoed these sentiments by holding to a very narrow view of that era, and the effects thereof can be likened to staring at their shoes. But a certain shift is appearing regarding perceptions about the steroid era – a view given to greater forbearance, in the larger context of the history of baseball, and how best to preserve the integrity of the game.
Over time, there has also been a greater societal demand for full disclosure. This has created a wealth of information about the steroid era in relation to the history of the game of baseball, including chronicled accounts of what people did and what they said, and did not say, at the time. However, ascertaining culpability was not the purpose of this study. Rather, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe historical accounts of pre-steroid and steroid era behaviors and their after-effects, as well as to contextualize these choices and consequences that shaped the steroid era within the historical past and coming future of the game. Moreover, the data effectively also yielded the presence and contextualization of a discernible shift in perspective regarding the steroid era.