Those with the power to vote players into the Baseball Hall of Fame have been wary of potentially tarnishing the institution with inductees linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
But the museum itself, which has no hand in the selection process, has continued to deal with the use of banned drugs.
With players like Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds — each of whom has faced allegations of steroid use — set to appear on Hall of Fame ballots this year for the first time, the Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday a new outreach program to educate teenagers and young adults about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.
The program — called Be a Superior Example, or BASE — will start with educational components online and an interactive kiosk at the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Asked if the initiative had been timed to coincide with the appearance of such high-profile players on the ballot, Jeff Idelson, the museum president, said in an e-mail that the program had been in the planning stages for a couple of years.
“We’re launching it now because it’s taken that long to build the curriculum, the program elements, and find the funding to launch BASE,” Idelson said. “We still need to find more funding to sustain it, but we now have enough to launch it and keep it up and running.”