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Mark McGwire's Home Run Record

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347 words
American History

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During the 1998 baseball season, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have excited fans with the greatest home run race in the history of the game. By mid-September, both players surpassed Roger Maris's single season record of sixty-one homers, set back in 1961. Sosa and McGwire are both great players. However, McGwire has been getting much more media attention; partly because has led the race most of the season, but mainly because he has admitted to using a controversial drug called Androstenedione. Although reactions have varied from casual acceptance to utter disgust, many people have proposed that the record books contain an asterisk, cautioning that McGwire's record was the result of Androstenedione use. To verify the need for this asterisk, one must examine the significance of this drug, and compare McGwire with the other home run kings.
In any issue involving sport and drugs, the primary concern is whether or not use of such a drug is legal, according to the governing body of that sport. Fortunately for Mark McGwire, use of Androstenedione does not violate any rules of Major League Baseball. While critics such as Richard Griffin, Toronto Star Baseball Columnist, argue that Andro is a "testosterone-producing product that is banned in the NFL, Olympics, and NCAA," they fail to mention that neither the NHL nor the NBA has banned this over-the-counter product.
More relevant than the drug's legality is it's effect on McGwire's ability to hit home runs. "In 1987, his rookie year, McGwirehit 49 home runs" (Dimanno). In fact, if McGwire had not been injured so often throughout his career, Maris's record would have been surpassed several times already. After eleven years of learning how different opponents pitch, developing an effective swing, and working out in the gym, is it any wonder that McGwire has finally put together a strong, consistent season and will end up with close to seventy home runs? All the Androstenedione did was help McGwire's body recover from his workouts: an advantage that today's athletes have over their predecessors.
Placing an asterisk next to McGwire's record would indicate to people that the ...

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