Willie Mays Aikens Admits Cocaine Use During 1980 World Series
Willie Mays Aikens was a power-hitting first baseman for the Kansas City Royals in the early 1980s, when home runs were not easy to come by and the Royals were among the best franchises in baseball. In the new book, ‘Safe at Home,’ biographer Greg Jordan helped Aikens tell his story, which includes an admission that he used cocaine during the 1980 World Series.
With two multi-homer games in that 1980 World Series, Aikens became the first player in MLB history to accomplish the feat. Unfortunately, Aikens’ addiction was too powerful and he was eventually sent to prison for 14 years because of drug-related offenses. Now fully rehabilitated, Aikens is telling the baseball world his story.
SB Nation’s Senior Correspondent Amy K. Nelson profiled Aikens to delve further into his past struggles. Aikens admitted during the 1980 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, he used cocaine every day. Watch a preview of the story below; see the full piece on You Tube’s SBN Channel.
Nelson also talked with Royals’ Hall of Famer George Brett to get insight on his reconnection with his former teammate since Aikens’ release from prison.
While much has been made of baseball’s issues with performance enhancing drugs in the 1990s and beyond, perhaps not enough has been learned about the illicit drug use by players in the pre-steroid era and what became of those players such as Aikens.