No such list could ever be made without mentioning Barry Lamar Bonds. The man “transformed” from a lithe and athletic two-way player to a hulking power hitter that smashed home runs further and more frequently than any player in MLB history.
His 762 carer home runs will forever be marked with an asterisk thanks to his acknowledgment of “unknowingly” using the topical steroids colloquially referred to as “the cream” and “the clear.”
Ryan Braun joined the 30/30 club in 2011 — hitting 33 home runs and stealing 33 bases that season — but also got busted that season after testing positive for an elevated level of testosterone and a banned substance. Looking down the barrel of a 50 game suspension, he vehemently denied any such PED usage, and even received public support from famous friends like Aaron Rodgers of the nearby Green Bay Packers.
Yet, the only way Braun could win his suspension appeal was through a technicality based on incompetence and gross misconduct of the individual who took Braun’s (untampered) sample.
One of the forefathers of steroid use in baseball, Ken Caminiti went from a player who went back-and-forth between the majors and minors, and struggled with injuries early in his career, to a league MVP and three-time Gold Glove award-winner.
He eventually revealed to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated that he took steroids in 1996 (the season when he won the MVP award) to help recover from a shoulder injury. This became one of the first pieces of evidence of how steroids could positively and significantly alter the performance of baseball players who happened to use it.