MLB players with doctorates in doctoring balls

Umpire Chris Cuccione left a game last year with the glove of Tampa’s Joel Peralta, the last player disciplined for doctoring a baseball.

Alex Brandon/AP

Umpire Chris Cuccione left a game last year with the glove of Tampa’s Joel Peralta, the last player disciplined for doctoring a baseball.

For the past 15 years cheating in baseball has come to mean players using performance-enhancing drugs. In a refreshing change, two scandals of the old-school variety popped up in recent weeks. First, Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz denied accusations by former pitcher and Blue Jays commentator Jack Morris that he was doctoring baseballs with a substance on his forearm. Then an auction house claimed it had a corked bat that had been used by Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle. A look at cheating the way it used to be:

Players suspended for doctoring bats (since 1974)

Sammy Sosa, Cubs, 2003 corked bat


Wilton Guerrero, Expos, 1997 corked bat

Chris Sabo, Reds, 1996 rubber balls in bat

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Albert Belle, Indians, 1994 corked bat

Billy Hatcher, Astros, 1987 corked bat

Graig Nettles, Yankees, 1974 super balls in bat

Pitchers suspended for doctoring baseballs


Joel Peralta, Rays, 2012, using pine tar on ball

Brendan Donnelly, Angels, 2005 using pine tar on ball

Julian Tavarez, Cardinals, 2004 using pine tar on ball

Brian Moehler, Tigers, 1999 scuffing with sandpaper

Joe Niekro, Twins, 1987, scuffing with emory board

Kevin Gross, Phillies, 1983 scuffing with sandpaper

Gaylord Perry, Mariners, 1982 using Vaseline on ball

Jay Howell, Dodgers, 1982, using pine tar on ball

Rick Honeycutt, Mariners, 1980 cutting ball with a thumbtack

Never caught, but fessed up after the fact

Whitey Ford, Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher: Admitted to cutting balls with wedding ring and marking balls with mud. Also claimed to throw a “gunk ball”, using a mixture of baby oil, turpentine, and resin.

Norm Cash, Tigers 1B: In 1961 Cash batted .361 with 41 homers and 132 RBIs. He never matched those numbers and after retiring admitted corking his bat that season.

Amos Otis, five-time All-Star OF 1967-84: After retiring, Otis said “I had enough cork and superballs in there to blow away anything.’’

Don Sutton, Hall of Fame pitcher, 1966-88: Asked if he used foreign substances on the ball, he replied, “Not true at all. Vaseline is manufactured right here in the United States.”

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