The accomplishments compiled by former Texas Rangers slugger Rafael Palmeiro amount to a strong candidacy for the National Baseball Hall of Fame on paper. Unfortunately, those numbers, which include 569 home runs, 3,020 hits and 1,835 RBI, were amassed in the steroid era.â†µ
Palmeiro played half of his 20 big league seasons in Texas, but a positive drug test for anabolic steroids in his final year in Baltimore has made his full career suspect in the mind of the public, including Hall of Fame voters. In a recent interview on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, Palmeiro maintained his career wasn't based on taking steroids and continues struggling to deal with that perception.
"People are questioning my career, my integrity and what I did throughout my career, and it's unfair. They're judging me on a mistake in judgment that I made near the end of my career," Palmeiro said. "If people want to think that I cheated or did something to enhance my performance, then that's fine. I can't say anything to make them change their mind, but other than that I played the game the right way. I never cheated the game, never missed any games, never on the DL or anything like that. I'm proud of the way I played the game.â†µ
"There is nothing else I can do. I can't prove it to anyone. It is what it is. Some people are going to believe me and some people are not. That's just the way it is," Palmeiro said.â†µ
As much as Palmeiro wants to make the Hall of Fame, he also sounds resigned to the fact his numbers alone won't earn him the trip to Cooperstown.