Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry had a remarkable career: 3,534 strikeouts, 314 wins, and multiple Cy Young awards. He is also known for being candid about doctoring baseballs, titling his 1974 autobiography Me and the Spitter.
In an interview with Syracuse.com on Wednesday, Perry was asked about his thoughts on the so-called Steroid Era and if he felt there was a marked difference between his “cheating” back in the day and the ways players “cheat” now:
In terms of ethics and cheating, how much difference is there between throwing a spitter and using steroids?
‘There’s a tremendous amount. You try things, you try to improve (in looking for a small edge). Back in the 1960s and 70s, we played hard. We had a good time.’
Would he cast a Hall of Fame ballot for a player linked to steroids?
‘Oh, not for a long time. I would wait, wait, wait. I guess (I would) when my brain gets old and forgives them.’
Perry also denied that players in his era would have been tempted to use steroids, citing that there were more naturally strong “farm and country boys” playing back then.
What do you think, FanSiders? Are there different levels to cheating? Are steroids even as big of a deal as they’re made out to be? Let your voice be heard in the comments.