Kids learn about the harmful effects of steroids

August 20, 2008 6:56:20 PM PDT
Dozens of children from San Francisco and Daly City had the opportunity to play ball at the Giants' ball park and meet some of the players. They also came away with a message that could save their lives.

Training and exercising are part of a campaign program game led by called P.L.A.Y. which stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth, put on by the Professional Baseball Trainers Society.

This year, the founder of the Taylor Hooton Foundation joined in.

"Like several guys on his team, he began using drugs and six months later he was dead," said Don Hooton, from the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

Don Hooton of Texas is talking about his son, who at 16 began taking steroids and suddenly took his own life.

"What none of us knew was half of the boys on Taylor's baseball team were juicing, were doing anabolic steroids," said Hooton.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey and found 5.1 percent of all high school boys used steroids, that's about half a million young men and nearly a quarter of a million high school girls also admitted using steroids.

"The fastest growing user-group are girls and they are doing it not to improve themselves with sports they are doing it to look better," said Hooton.

Under pressure from Congress, Mayor League Baseball has come down hard on the use of steroids among players and their teams.

"We want to portray that to the kids and send the right message and educate them. I think it's about education and say, 'No. If you do it the right way, work hard, eat right, you can achieve your goals,'" said Dave Groeshner, the Giants' athletic trainer.

"Steroids is bad, you shouldn't take it. You're going to die, you're going to die and I don't want to die. That's why I'm not taking that stuff," said Ricky Johnson, a baseball fan.

"What would happen if someone came up to you and said you'd be a much better athlete if you took steroids?" asked ABC7's Lyanne Melendez.
"I would say like, 'No,' cause I know I could do anything if I put my mind to it," said Tamara Gallaread, a baseball fan.

Hooton will take his anti-steroid campaign to other kids around the nation.

One more note on this story, Taylor Hooton's uncle is former Major League pitcher Burt Hooton.

Taylor Hooton Foundation: click here


Load Comments