The Steroid Hunt

A brief history of how reporters first covered performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, starting with the time Baseball Weekly writer Pete Williams hit the gym with Ken Caminiti:

His post-workout high set him off to report on creatine, the supplement Baseball Weekly would dub the game’s “new gunpowder.”

Baseball Weekly had a decent travel budget and Williams was able to interview lots of players. The list now reads like a suspect list of the steroid era. Mark McGwire. Jason Giambi. Mike Piazza. They wanted to talk to Williams. The word cheater was barely in circulation. In the age when few ballplayers took weight lifting seriously, the players thought of themselves as innovators. Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson, whose home run total jumped from 16 in ’95 to 50 in ’96, pulled out supplement after supplement to show Williams. There’s this, Anderson said. And this … McGwire declared Power Creatine “the best product on the market today.”

Source: Grantland
Published: Jan 16, 2014
Length: 25 minutes (6,273 words)
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