Skip to comments.Parents whose son committed suicide emotional at steroids hearing
Posted on 03/17/2005 8:03:16 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AP) - Her voice wavered, the emotion coming through loud and clear, as a California woman spoke of her son who committed suicide after using steroids.
"There is no doubt in our minds that steroids killed our son," Denise Garibaldi told a House committee during Thursday's hearing on steroids in baseball.
An hour or so later, Garibaldi and her husband were seated in the gallery directly behind Mark McGwire, one of Rob Garibaldi's baseball heroes. The young Garibaldi would tape McGwire on television and break down McGwire's swing "frame by frame," said father Raymond Garibaldi.
The Garibaldis, of Petaluma, Calif., watched and listened as McGwire pointedly refused to discuss his baseball past - including whether he ever used steroids - with members of the Committee on Government Reform.
"I think there's a little bit to be said about that," Raymond Garibaldi said. "I think there's definitely some suspicion there."
Denise Garibaldi said McGwire non-denial didn't really matter.
"What's important," she said, "is that our son thought he used steroids."
Rob Garibaldi shot himself in the head on Oct. 1, 2002, at the age of 24. For years, he had been told that he had all the ingredients of a major league baseball player except size, so he starting using steroids to gain the bulk he needed to make the big time. The price, in Raymond Garibaldi's words, was "mania, depression, short-term memory loss, uncontrollable rage, delusional and suicidal thinking and paranoid psychosis."
"In his mind, he did what baseball players like (Jose) Canseco has done, and McGwire and (Barry) Bonds are believed to have done," Denise Garibaldi said. "Rob fiercely argued: 'I don't do drugs. I'm a ballplayer. This is what ballplayers do. If Bonds has to do it, then I must.'"
The hoard of reporters and spectators at the hearing weren't there to see the Garibaldis. They were there to see McGwire, Canseco, Sammy Sosa and the other players testify. But the testimony of the Garibaldis and of Donald Hooton, whose son also committed suicide after using steroids, clearly touched many people involved.
"It was very shocking," Sosa said. "And it breaks my heart. I want to send my sympathies to the families. I want to do the best that I can do stop it."
The Garibaldis have joined Taylor Hooton Foundation, formed by Donald Hooton to promote awareness of the steroid problem among young people. They have been speaking publicly about their son for a year.
"Every time you do it, it still brings back a lot of memories," Raymond Garibaldi said. "I think it's very therapeutic to be able to deal with it. And our goals are that this never happens to another family."
The primary objective of this foundation is to raise awareness among the general population of the United States about the dangers of steroid abuse.
Well I like the father I heard quoted today on the radio. He told these baseball players to just deal with it, they ARE role models for kids.
I thought that was a fair cop.
Your compassion is overwhelming.
Do you have children?
They ought be ashamed to blame professional baseball players.
I had a cousin that died of alchohol as a teenager. And not for a moment did anyone in my family blame Budweiser or Coors.
Major League Baseball and other major leagues are protected monopolies. So the public has a right to demand rules. But that doesn't take away our responsibility as parents, to steer away our kids from false gods.
Every drug, from aspirin on up, has side effects. You ignore them at your own peril. He apparently gambled his life in an attempt to make the major leagues and he lost. His decision to gamble was ridiculous, considering that many major league ball players do NOT use steroids and yet can still play in the major leagues. They are there because of an inherent physical superiority that enables them to play at a very high level of skill. If you don't have that ability, you can't play. It's as simple as that. If you fail to accept that reality, you try taking steroids and risk death.
Part of gambling is knowing when to lay down your cards and walk away. Or, as 'Dirty' Harry Callahan once said..."A man has got to know his limitations...."
Sorry to hear of your loss.
My question is who says it is the parents fault when coaches and the majors unknowingly support the belief that a 'man' has to do what it takes to get to the top?
In my eyes, those who testified today and did not come clean have perpetuated their own delusion that it isn't their fault either.,, either that they survived or benefited so unfairly from using less than acceptable means to achieve their end. btw, I did not see tears in any of the players eyes.
In my opinion , we all lose when a young person dies well before their time, and so needlessly, pursuing a dream, whether it really is worth it or not.
I would expect more from posters at FR than what I am seeing, but frankly, Im not surprised either.
It shows how easily folks miss the issue and make it a personal thing, the athlete should have known he was going over the edge, or kown what his limitations are..
Maybe I should have only asked folks who have been personally touched by these kind of tragedies so as not to make it an open shot for folks to blame the dead.
I absolutely loved the statements that one of the fathers made about the MLB players that used steroids were cheaters and that they broke records that had been established by those who earned it the hard way. Personally I think those who broke the records should be stripped of their titles and the records put back up for grabs.
According to the father of one kid that committed suicide, each of the baseball players on the panel were personally responsible. I don't buy it.
Where did this kid get the money to buy the steroids? If he was doin' sports and pumpin' up he proably didn't have time to work at McDonalds to pay for the roids.
articles about the athlete in question..
Dec. 19,2004 (EXCERPT)
Dreams, steroids, death -- a ballplayer's downfall
U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona told the Associated Press that the problem of steroid use was ''less a moral and ethical issue than it is a public health issue. If youngsters are seeing their role models practicing this kind of behavior and it seems acceptable, then we need to do something about that because it is a health risk.''
In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2002, sitting in a car just around the block from his parents' home, Rob Garibaldi finally put an end to what had been a tumultuous period plagued by depression, rage and delusional behavior, using a .357 Magnum he had stolen the day before.
For a year and a half, the Garibaldis grieved privately, trying to make sense of their son's dramatic downward spiral. Then, in early March of this year, they saw the parents of a Texas high school baseball player named Taylor Hooton describing on national television how their son had hanged himself as a result of steroid use. The Garibaldis found it hauntingly familiar, and soon began to tell Rob's story to high school students, national television audiences and state legislators who had taken up the cause in the wake of the BALCO scandal.
As the Garibaldis now realize, Rob's steroid use dated all the way back to the summer of 1997, when he was 18 years old and had just been honored as a prep All-American at Casa Grande High School. That places him in a population of steroid users for whom parents, lawmakers, coaches and experts are most concerned: teenagers.
An annual study by the University of Michigan indicates that steroid use among all students in eighth through 12th grades rose yearly throughout the 1990s, an indication that many kids recognized the drugs could benefit not only athletes but boys and girls simply seeking the body beautiful.
The most recent Michigan study, from last year, showed a decline in some areas but still reported that 3.5 percent of 12th-graders acknowledged they had used steroids at some point and 2.1 percent admitted to using in the past year. Other studies have indicated use among teens anywhere from 3 to 11 percent.
Steroids enable athletes to work out harder and build up muscle. But in addition to potential physical dangers such as liver damage and heart disease, experts say, steroid use can create psychological trauma.
It looks like he made the run to Mejico where roids are relatively cheap and easily obtained, a few hundred dollars or so was all it took.
Yes, several and I have taught them self-reliance and responsibility.
Are yours dependant on a government nanny to keep bad things out of their mouths?
Good idea - you sure don't want objective folks casting their logic around here. Best go for the emotionally grieving - they sure got perspective. Its a nice liberal ploy - you have learned well.
I don't have kids but I have lots of nieces and nephews.
Congratulations on your kids, would that all parents were so involved as you.
Sadly, the nanny argument is true .. But steroids don't discriminate on the basis of the the users intelligence... and quite frankly, not all parents and kids are up to the task.
Looks like we need to send Dr. Phil and Dr. Dobson,Judge Judy and Dr. Laura to Congress.. ;-)
So if I think something that makes it so?
Ok, I think she is letting her grief and desire to blame someone else get out of hand.
Its a nice liberal ploy - you have learned well.
I guess if I don't reply to this, it makes it so. I'll add it to union lobbyist I was accused of being a couple of weeks ago when discussing teacher merit pay.
I knew folks would be all too quick to stick it to the kid. and you're right, the dead have no voice to defend themself, except for the family left behind..
The parents are grieving, society is grieving, if that makes me 'liberal' acknowledging that,,, or asking for others to share their direct experiences, so be it.