Work Title: And now a word from our druggist
Work Author(s): Ron Kaplan
Sports And Fitness
Byline: Ron Kaplan
Raymond Angelo Belliotti's Watching Baseball, Seeing Philosophy devotes a chapter to Jose Canseco and the questionable use of performance enhancing drugs. The December 2007 release of the Mitchell Report---the exhaustive study by Major League baseball into the use of such substances---has opened the door for several new books on the subject.
With all the hubbub, one would think the use of such pharmaceuticals is a late twentieth-century phenomenon. But according to The Dark Side of Baseball: Gambling, Violence, Drugs and Alcohol in the National Pastime by Roger I. Abrams (Rounder, 978-1-57940-156-6), better playing through chemistry is almost as old as the game itself. James "Pud" Galvin, a ninteenth-century Hall of Fame pitcher, is on record as having taken testosterone injections in 1889. Abrams, a law professor at Northeastern University whose previous books include Legal Bases: Baseball and The Law and The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903, investigates some other dubious behavior, including recreational drug and alcohol abuse, violence on and off the field, and gambling, which pre-dates even the infamous 1919 Black Sox Scandal in which a group of eight players conspired to throw the 1919 World Series. The upshot of Dark Side is that everything old seems to be new again.