SAN FRANCISCO -- Former major league pitcher Tom House used steroids during his career and said performance-enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
House, perhaps best known for catching Hank Aaron's 715th home run ball in 1974 in the Atlanta Braves' bullpen, said he and several teammates used amphetamines, and that he tried human growth hormone and "whatever steroid" he could find in order to keep up with the competition.
"I pretty much popped everything cold turkey," House said.
"We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. That was the '60s, when nobody knew. The good thing is, we know now. There's a lot more research and understanding."
House, a former pitching coach with the Texas Rangers and co-founder of the National Pitching Association near San Diego, is one of the first players to describe steroid use as far back as the 1960s.
He was drafted in 1967 by the Braves and pitched eight seasons for Atlanta, Boston and Seattle, finishing his career with a 29-23 record and 3.79 ERA.
"We didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed," House, 58, said. "And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."
House said he gained almost 30 pounds while using steroids, blaming the extra weight for contributing to knee problems. He said the drugs helped improve recovery time and conditioning but did not add velocity to his fastball.
"I tried everything known to man to improve my fastball, and it
still didn't go faster than 82 miles per hour," House said. "I
was a failed experiment."
House said he stopped using steroids after learning about the
long-term harm they could cause.
"I'd like to say we were smart, but we didn't know what was
going on," he said. "We were at the tail end of a generation that
wasn't afraid to ingest anything. As research showed up, guys