Growing up as a golf fan, Jack Nicklaus was my hero.
My father often tells me the story of the 1986 Masters golf tournament. As the story goes, I was sitting with my father as the 40-something Nicklaus battled back to win one of the more incredible major championships in golf history.
I don’t remember that day at all, but it’s nice to know that it happened.
Jack – first names only for heroes, please – became the golfer I would root for every weekend, even though he would usually languish into a tie for 67th. Nicklaus never won a major PGA event after the ’86 Masters, but he provided a kid with hope that his hero could still compete honestly with the youngsters.
No one can say that about Alex Rodriguez.
The sensational infielder with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees allegedly took steroids in 2003 to boost his career numbers. Rodriguez won the American League MVP that season with the Rangers and then took many big bags of money to play for the Yankees.
In ’03, Rodriguez hit .298 with 47 homeruns. If there’s proof that he took steroids during this or any other season, all of these numbers are meaningless.
Near the end of the regular season in 2008, Alex Rodriguez looked to top the fake record that Barry Bonds currently holds with the most career homeruns in baseball history. If Rodriguez took steroids, his status as the best player in the game dissolves because of a greed-laced syringe.
I’m glad I still have my hero.