From gambling to drugs to ugly labor disputes, baseball's history is dotted with dark days Print
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Thursday, 13 December 2007 18:36
MLB Headline News

 A look at some of the darkest days in the history of baseball:
Sept. 29, 1920 - In an account published in The New York Times, Chicago White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte says that he and several teammates agreed to throw the 1919 World Series in exchange for cash, in a scheme hatched by a pair of professional gamblers. The eight players indicted in the ``Black Sox'' scandal were found innocent in court, but banned for life by baseball's first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
June 12, 1981 - Major league players go on strike. A total of 712 games are canceled before both sides reached agreement July 31 on a contract that would run through 1984.
Dec. 15, 1983 - Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends Steve Howe, a star relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, for one year for cocaine use. Howe, who was suspended seven times by the end of his career, came to symbolize the rampant cocaine problem that plagued baseball in the 1980s.
Feb. 28, 1986 - Joaquin Andujar, Dale Berra, Enos Cabell, Keith Hernandez, Al Holland, Lee Lacy, Jeff Leonard, Dave Parker, Lonnie Smith, Lary Sorensen and Claudell Washington are all suspended for drug use, based on testimony from the 1985 trial of caterer Curtis Strong, who was convicted of selling cocaine to players. The suspensions - some for 60 days, others for a year - allowed the players to stay in the game if they donated to drug-prevention programs, performed community service and, in some cases, submitted to random drug testing.
Aug. 24, 1989 - Cincinnati Reds manager and former star player Pete Rose, baseball's career hit leader, is banned from the sport for life for betting on his own team. Rose steadfastly denies the gambling allegations until 2004, when he comes clean in his autobiography.
May 7, 1992 - Trainer Curtis Wenzlaff is arrested for steroids distribution. Wenzlaff later publicly admits helping Jose Canseco and 20 to 30 other major leaguers obtain steroids, but refuses to discuss another former client, Mark McGwire.
Aug. 12, 1994 - Players walk off the job in a protracted strike that results in the cancellation of the remainder of the season, including the 1994 World Series.
Aug. 22, 1998 - A jar of androstenedione is discovered in McGwire's locker, just as he and Sammy Sosa are chasing Roger Maris' single-season home run mark of 61. McGwire admits using the drug and goes on to hit a record 70 home runs. The precursor to steroids is not yet illegal in Major League Baseball.
May 28, 2002 - Ken Caminiti is quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying he used steroids during his MVP season in 1996 with the San Diego Padres, when he hit a career-high .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. He estimates half the players in the big leagues were using them.
Dec. 2, 2004 - The San Francisco Chronicle reports New York Yankee Jason Giambi testified to a federal grand jury on Dec. 11, 2003, that he had used steroids for at least three seasons and had injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003.
Feb. 6, 2005 - The New York Daily News reports Canseco says in his book, ``Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big'' that he injected McGwire with steroids and introduced several other sluggers to the drugs.
March 17, 2005 - At a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee, McGwire evades questions about steroid use as he testifies alongside Canseco, Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, who denies having used steroids. Lawmakers scold Commissioner Bud Selig and union leader Donald Fehr, saying baseball's penalties are too lenient. Some congressmen say legislation could be necessary.
Aug. 7, 2007 - San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds hits his 756th career home run to break baseball's all-time record, held by Hank Aaron for more than three decades. Bonds' accomplishment is tainted by allegations that he had used performance-enhancing drugs for years.
Nov. 15, 2007 - Bonds is indicted on five felony counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying when he testified he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs. If convicted, legal experts say Bonds could spend up to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Dec. 7, 2007 - Bonds pleads not guilty to four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.
Dec. 13, 2007 - A report prepared by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell details a troubling drug culture in baseball, and names 85 current and former players linked to performance-enhancing substances. Included are Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte and Eric Gagne.

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