Re: John Fay Abstains from HOF Voting to Avoid Casting Votes for Bonds and Clemens
In this thread Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron have all been accused of taking greenies, "red juice" and other performance enhancers to help them get through a season's long grind. However their career paths are not that unusual for inner circle Hall of Famers. Mantle had his last great season at age 32; there are dozens of players who sustained their greatness at ages older than that. Mays had his last great season at age 35. While it is more uncommon for a player to still be great at that age, a number of inner circle Hall of Famers, such as Ruth, Cobb, Ted Williams and Stan Musial were still great players at that age and older, with no evidence of any PEDS use stronger than booze. Aaron had his last great season at age 39, when he hit 40 HRs, but part of Aaron's seemingly refusal to decline was caused by park effects, with the Braves moving from a bad HR park to a great HR park when Aaron was 32 years old.
However, none of those players became markedly greater at age 35+.
Mantle's greatest seasons came at ages 24-25 and 29, about where you would expect. Yes, Willie Mays reached a career high with 52 HRs at age 34 in 1965, but he had a near mirror image season a decade earlier when he hit 51 HRs with an almost identical batting average; Willie's three highest batting averages came when he was between ages 23 and 28, again about where you would expect. Aaron was amazingly consistent, but his peak years were between ages 23 and 29. Mays was the only one of this trio to win even one MVP award in his 30's.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."