I suppose this post can't get to far along without bringing up steroids. Though McGwire has never publicly admitted it, we can safely say that his guilt is only as damning as OJ Simpson's homicidal tendencies and Michael Jackson's pedophile rumors.
I'm watching the 1999 Home Run Derby on ESPN. It was held in Boston. McGwire captivated the crowd in the first round hitting 13 towering bombs. Sammy Sosa was there rooting him on. The fans went crazy after each and every mammoth blast.
Knowing what we now know, or think we know, what can be said about McGwire's legacy? I know this, he was a great baseball player, he was fun.
Was it totally right what he did? No.
Is it disapointing that he never admitted to using perfformancing enhancing drugs? Absolutely.
I don't want to get into a long debate over steroids, baseball, cheating, Barry Bonds being a douche bag, I just don't want to go there.
I do want to address is this, whether McGwire gets into the Hall of Fame or not, (If I had a vote he would be in) he will go to his grave with the image of a user.
He was a nice man, he was a fan favorite, he brought baseball back when the 1994 strike all but pushed America away.
McGwire was good for baseball, steroids are wrong, but McGwire was good for baseball.
The home of the free and the brave. Brave enough to consume 68 hot dogs in 12 minutes Joey Chestnut, introduced as reigning champion, ate 3.5 more dogs than his rival Takeru Kobayashi.
It was truly a memorable one Chestnut again defended his title. A record breaking record topped his previous feat of 66 in 2007 (Joey ate 59 in 2008 which lead to a sudden death eat off win over Kobayashi)
I begin my fourth celebration each year watching the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. The founding fathers would have wanted us to remember their efforts this way.
God Bless America and God Bless the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.