The Philosopher's Ball Game

[Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark by Alva Noë; Oxford University Press; 208 pp., $21.95]

I artificially altered my body to become a better baseball player.

No, I didn’t take performance-enhancing drugs, though PED use was rampant during my time in professional baseball in the early 2000s. Anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, amphetamines called “greenies” due to their color in pill form, and Adderall, a medicine used to treat attention deficit disorder, were everywhere.

Drugs pervaded every clubhouse, in every league, and at every level I ever played after high school. Pills were casually passed around prior to games. Players routinely mixed drugs into their pregame coffee. Innumerable professional baseball players sought out an ADHD diagnosis in order to get an Adderall prescription. Abused as an attention-heightener, the drug is helpful when you’re about to have a hard object thrown at your head at a hundred miles per hour. Few fans know that once Major League Baseball banned amphetamines, Adderall became one of the most widely used, and most effective, PEDs in baseball.

Players weren’t brazenly shooting needles full of anabolic steroids into their buttcheeks, but they were popping pills out in the open. In short, depending on what time you walked into the clubhouse—usually right after batting practice—you could have confused it for a pharmacy.


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