You can say whatever you want to say about Barry Bonds, but if you are a true fan of the game of baseball you have to admit that over the last quarter century he undeniably should be recognized as one of the game’s top five players. I personally would go as far to say that Barry Bonds, as a five-tool player, is the single greatest baseball player of all-time! (Yes, even better overall than his famous godfather, Willie Mays). His name will appear on the 2013 HOF ballot for the first time this December (along with Clemens, Sosa and others). You must remember…….first and foremost, baseball is part of the business of entertainment……who cares how the numbers were obtained. All of you purists out there need to get a grip. The Baseball Hall of Fame was established to honor the greatest baseball players of all-time, not necessarily high-character individuals that every fan and reporter adored who abided by every law. Plain and simple, nobody has entertained us more and had better playing statistics on the whole than Barry Bonds, and for this alone he should rightfully be permitted to take his place in Cooperstown come next year!
Bonds’ legal entailings are finally just about concluded. This past April he was convicted …….not of steroid use, but of obstruction of justice. Again, who cares! Today, the 47-year old Bonds is down about 30 lbs. to a lean 212, thanks to a new love for cycling. Bonds can frequently be seen these days at AT&T Park just taking in a game like a regular fan. He already has a personal services contract with the Giants, and he stirred up the media as only Bonds can by meeting last week with Larry Baer, Giants President & CEO, to discuss an expanding role with the club. He deserves that too! Nobody has brought more excitement to the Bay area since Mays and Company arrived in 1958. But, after 22 seasons, he stopped entertaining us following the 2007 season, and says he will be very sad if he’s not a first ballot Hall of Famer. “I gave my life and soul to this game”, Bonds said recently. Who can really disagree with him? The San Francisco fans still love him, and the Giants should step up and allow him to once again become a visible member of the local baseball community.
When voters mark their ballots for next year’s enshrinees, they must realize that NOBODY in the history of baseball has better overall numbers than Barry Bonds. His numbers are truly remarkable, and undoubtedly will NEVER be matched! I’m a big believer in numbers…they don’t lie. Baseball, like no other sport, is all about the numbers, and one has to have enormous appreciation for what Bonds has accomplished in his baseball career. For starters, he was a 7-time League MVP (a record four in a row too)….nobody else has ever won more than three. For a so-called hated player among the media, they just could not deny him in this regard. He’s a 14-time All-Star, 12-time Silver Slugger, 8-time Golden Glover, a career .298 hitter (including two batting titles in 2002 and 2004), and baseball’s all-time leader in career home runs (762), homers in one season (73 in 2001), career walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688). He’s the only member of the 500-500 Club (500 homers and 500 stolen bases), twice exceeded .800 slugging (Ruth was the only other player to match this), and is only one of four players in the 40-40 Club (40 homers and 40 stolen bases in a single season). He accomplished this in 1996 to join Jose Canseco (1988), Alex Rodriquez (1998), and most recently Alfonso Soriano (2006). Despite all of these impressive marks, the 6th overall pick of the 1985 MLB Draft also sits in the top-ten for several other all-time career stats, some of which may surprise you:
- Games as left fielder (1st)
- Putouts as left fielder (1st)
- Extra base hits (2nd)
- Runs scored (3rd)
- RBIs (4th)
- Assists as left fielder (4th)
- Total bases (4th)
- On-base percentage (6th)
- Slugging (6th)
- Triples (8th)
- Plate appearances (9th)
- Games played (10th)
His name will forever be synonymous with steroid use in baseball. However, his true legacy is that of all-round greatness on the field of play….unmatched by anyone who has ever played the game. No need to be sad Barry because you will be a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2013! As far as Roger and Sammy go……their relative numbers just don’t compare!
Filed under: Pro Baseball
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