23 years ago, the never-to-be-forgotten episode in the history of baseball (the quintessential American pastime) occurred. Anderson, a Baltimore Orioles outfielder, hit over 50 homeruns. Some folks and experts think Brady Kevin Anderson had recourse to steroids during the season in 1996 for increasing his athletic performance. Nevertheless, no exact evidence is available. There are only speculations.
Some Biographical Facts
The future baseballer was born in Silver Spring (Maryland), an unincorporated community and suburb of Washington, D.C. He spent his childhood in California, where he graduated from Carlsbad High School. He was accepted to enroll in the University of California Irvine, where he proved himself as a diligent student.
It was 1985 when the Boston Red Sox won a game with Anderson by a score 6–1. Playing in the minor league, he managed to gain perspective achievements and prove himself as a talented player. His first full-fledged playing season in MLB (1986) was associated with 319/.459/.504 hits. He played for the Winter Haven Red Sox of the Florida State League (FSL), which no longer exists. The results were impressive. He amazed both spectators and players by rapidity (44 stolen bases), great power (incredible 19 doubles, 12 home runs, and 11 triples) and his unbelievable forbearance, which manifested itself in 107 walks. The combination of all these skills made his name. At the end of the playing season in 1987, Anderson participated only in 75 games, due to a severe ankle injury, which he sustained in a nightclub accident.
In more tense and tough competitions the star demonstrated .321/.457/.474 hits in upper junior leagues. The year after that Anderson, who was already a 24-year-old player and had considerable experience debuted in the MLB playing for the Red Sox.
In 1988, a deal about buying Anderson along with Curt Schilling and Mike Boddicker for Baltimore Orioles was closed. After a successful performance in the Boston season in 1990, the sportsman was traded once more to the Houston Astros for Glenn Davis. Anderson belongs to those five baseballers whose acquiring gave the team more preferences than the counterparty that traded their players. Almost all clubs were ready to acquire such a prospective topnotcher.
The 1993 and 1995 seasons were almost identical regarding criterion of productivity for Anderson. Davey Johnson—the Orioles manager, who started to head in 1996 remarked on the power and speed of the young Anderson. However, he animadverted the player’s uppercut swing.
Brady Anderson’s Injury
1997 was not a rosy period for Anderson. He did not perform his best during the springtime, which almost broke him and his overconfidence. After that, the situation worsened further. Anderson suffered an injury and his neck soreness included him in the list of disabled players, which, incontrovertibly, prevented him from participating in the next season.
It was a rather severe injury, a sprained right sternoclavicular joint strain with tension in the right neck muscle and trapezius. It was a very important muscle and joint group for the player, who had to hold his hand in the low position and then bring them up for performing the hitting.
It was a miserable season for him. Nevertheless, he managed to get a grip on himself and perform even better in the next season after injury recovering. The final peak of his career dates back to 2002 when performed as a Cleveland Indians player.
According to theoretical assumptions, Brady Anderson took steroids (PEDs) for the entire 1996 season. In our humble opinion, this theory is not at all an unlikely scenario since this was the peak of the anabolic era. It yielded incredible outcomes, which the player managed to demonstrate on the field.
Obviously, Anderson, personally, denied taking “juice”, which was the expected position, since no player who uses illicit meds wishes for others to know this muddy fact. It’s worth noting, that the player was not included in the Mitchell Report (made in 2007 by George John Mitchell Jr., the former Democratic United States Senator, who is the most respectful PEDs investigator and exposer). There is an obvious question: if the athlete took anabolics, why there were no shreds of evidence in the Mitchell Report? It’s unreasonable to claim that the player used prohibited medicaments by reference to his splendid success in home runs.
We should not ignore the nuances of steroidal activity while arguing about Anderson’s drug use. The player was mad in trainings. One of his teammates, Cal Ripken Jr., said that he stood ahead of the curve regarding his diet and general regiments. The organization knew it well since Anderson was depicted as a small cartoon character who lifts heavy weights in Baltimore Orioles media. The beginning of using steroids allows a “juicer” to gain 25–30 pounds during a cycle of three months. Anderson visually gained not a single ounce. Subsequently, the theory of his steroid using is more than unfounded.
Throughout his career, he only gained 16 pounds. When beginning his sports career in 1989, he weighed 186 pounds. His weight fluctuated from 185 to 195 pounds till the end of 1998. His peak was in 1999 when he weighed almost 202 pounds. He ended his career at this bodyweight.
His weight dropped from 1995 to 1996, when he lost five pounds and weighed 190. If Anderson used unlawful preparations, even a minimal cycle he would definitely weigh 210–215 pounds in the offseason. Let’s compare it with Barry Bonds, who gained 16 pounds from 1996 to 1997 and 18 pounds from 2000 to 2001. There were several leaps in the player’s weight. Most of them were inconsiderable and could be easily explained.
Bulking is an integral part of administering steroids (read more on cortisone shots and weight gain). Players take them for the sake of gaining huge muscle mass, which will help them to make their hits more powerful. Anderson, in turn, managed to lose weight during some seasons. If Anderson took steroids then he is “the most hellish” (satire phrasing) steroid user in history.
Definitely, losing weight is also a consequence of taking these drugs, but this is essential in the frame of preparation to bodybuilding competitions. There are no purposes of losing weight outside of this process. If a player can hit as many HRs as possible, he’ll never cut his weight. It’s impossible to gain muscle mass for increasing the power and lose pounds simultaneously. Thus, it’d have been unreasonable for Anderson to use steroids for cutting weight since his power would not progress at all.
Anderson had an outward attitude toward steroids from 1997 and 1998, during which the athlete gained 12 pounds and weighed 202. However, this is not convincing evidence. At first, this weight is not considerable. Secondly, it seems to be unreasonable to take steroids during the collapse of his career. There is a sensible explanation of the weight gain. Being injured in 1997, Anderson had moderate physical activity. At the same time, he consumed the same quantity of calories. It slowed down his metabolism and led to 12 extra pounds.
Inconspicuous weight gain from 1996 to 1997 should not be taken into consideration because it is more than easy to gain several pounds in the offseason naturally. There is no sense to use steroids for it.
Brady Anderson & Steroids: Final Considerations
There is no trustworthy evidence which definitely proves that Anderson used steroids like Boldenone, Sustanon, nandrolone, and androstenedione to achieve such incredible results in baseball, to make himself faster, stronger, or even braver. If he did, it was not more than the one episode in the 1996 season. Comparing to other players who literally use performance enhancers on a regular basis, Anderson’s experience is a mere trifle. We should not accuse him. We hope he’s honest and that he can be justly recognized as an outstanding baseball player.
Meanwhile, baseballers still continue to deceive Americans. In May 2018, Robinson Jose Cano Mercedes was suspended for 80 games for taking Furosemide (Lasix, Furorese) as a masking agent. On March 6, 2019, Steven Wright also received an 80-game suspension for using GHRP-2 (Pralmorelin, GHRP Kaken 100).