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Rick Zamperin: Joe Morgan’s Hall of Fame plea falls short of a home run

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan is urging BBWA voters to to keep "known steroid users" out of Cooperstown. Home run king Barry Bonds (pictured) is one of the players Morgan is referring to.
Hall of Famer Joe Morgan is urging BBWA voters to to keep "known steroid users" out of Cooperstown. Home run king Barry Bonds (pictured) is one of the players Morgan is referring to. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

I’m a big fan of Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan the player.

I’m not a fan of Joe Morgan the politician or lobbyist.

He’s the same person, but Morgan’s political alter-ego — which surfaced this week — should be left in the clubhouse.

A day after the Baseball Hall of Fame revealed its ballot for the 2018 class, the former Cincinnati Reds superstar climbed onto his soapbox and urged voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

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In a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, the 74-year-old Morgan wrote: “Steroid users don’t belong here. What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

As a Hall of Fame member, Morgan certainly has a right to voice his opinion, but Morgan is also the Hall’s vice-chairman and a member of its board of directors.

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Even though he said he wasn’t speaking for all Hall of Famers, his position with the Hall is too much for me to ignore.

I understand that Morgan wants the Hall of Fame’s standards to remain rigid after noticing that alleged performance-enhancing substance users like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have inched closer to induction over the last couple of years.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Barry Bonds’ career home run record should have an asterisk

Former Commissioner Bud Selig was inducted into Cooperstown in July, and he was the man in charge during baseball’s steroids era.

Why didn’t we hear from Joe Morgan then?

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