Professional athletes playing under the influence is a long, if not venerable, tradition in sports. Thus, the names off all those athletes who played under the influence will never be known.
But why so much substance use? Well, for one thing, until relatively recently, athletic ability was kind of thought of as a fixed genetic given. Similar to your persistent backfat, we just assumed it was there. Training, lifting weights, nutrition, weren’t exactly things until the more recent chapters of the saga of American sports.
See also: Money and fame.
Beyond this, looking at baseball in particular, there’s an element of boredom to the endless parade of the 160-plus game season and the nightly bench-sitting for hours on end that can, basically, drive a man for reach for the Jack Daniels.
Anyway, here are nine athletes who showed up for work under the influence.