Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball by Aaron Skirboll
Eerily prescient of times to come, this exposé examines drug use in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the mid-1980s and one of the biggest drug trials in baseball history. Through a series of exclusive interviews with FBI agents, U.S. attorneys, defense lawyers, journalists, former baseball executives, physicians, and the dealers themselves, the narrative provides a behind-the-scenes look into how the players managed their habits, the effect of the drugs on their athletic performance, and the ruses the players concocted to keep their drug consumption from becoming public knowledge. Among the all-stars implicated as cocaine users were Joaquin Andujar, Dusty Baker, Dale Berra, Keith Hernandez, Lee Mazzilli, John Milner, Dave Parker, and Lonnie Smith, while Willie Mays and Willie Stargell were fingered as amphetamine users. In addition to identifying the players involved, this account reveals how the hapless group of mostly diehard Pittsburgh Pirates fans got into cocaine and connected with the players as well as the often comic “deals” that eventually got them busted. Then MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth's failure to implement a strict drug policy in the aftermath of the trial is also discussed, along with the role this inaction played in enabling the steroid era.