July 28, 2007

Repost: Steroids Rampant in '60s and '70s

Following up on the steroid conversation in the comments to the Schilling Being Schilling post, I thought I would repost something from May 2005 (with some added emphasis):
5.04.2005
Former Red Sox Pitcher: Steroids Rampant in 1960 and 1970s

Former relief pitcher Tom House tells Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle that performance-enhancing drugs and steroids were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s. House pitched for eight years (1971-78), including the Red Sox in 1976 and 1977.

House: "I pretty much popped everything cold turkey. We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. ... I tried everything known to man to improve my fastball ... [We used to say] we didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed. And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."

House estimates that six or seven pitchers on every staff were "fiddling" with steroids or growth hormone. I can only assume that a lot of the hitters on every team were also fiddling, if only to keep pace with whatever advantage they believed the opposing pitchers might be getting.
According to House, more than 30 years ago, approximately half of all major league pitchers were "fiddling" with steroids or growth hormone. I find it difficult to believe that management was unaware of such wide-spread use.

5 comments:

CaKeY said...

I think he's full of crap. IMO the Chronicle is just trying to make barry not look so bad. I just have to look at my old baseball cards to for evidence. Mike Schmidt and Steve Garvey were about as muscular as anyone. They'd be barely average-sized now.

Stephen said...

I remember when House made this claim in 05 and he was widely dismissed, but it seems that the reasoning is all wrong. Growth hormone and steroids are not like popeye and spinach. It has taken a long, laborious process of incremental development for the biochemistry to really produce the results we have seen in the past 15 years. Also, it was not until the 1980s that the culture of 'lifting' came into vogue in baseball (maybe because of the juice?). If you are not lifting when juicing you will get little value. It is true that the east germans and soviet block athletes had a good system going by the 70s (think martina navritalova) but there is little reason to suspect the steroid culture in MLB was as advanced, especially in a sport that forever had valued flexibilty over bulk.

L-girl said...

IMO the Chronicle is just trying to make barry not look so bad.

Which apparently can't be done for some people. Barry Bonds invented steroid use and ruined baseball, case closed.

CaKeY said...

Plus he's a jerk and a liar.

L-girl said...

Plus he's a jerk and a liar.

Yeah, and that's really unusual in the world.