It’s that time of the year again, everyone is going to put in their two cents about which players should or shouldn’t be voted into the Hall of Fame. With that said, here’s my argument for one of the greatest baseball players to ever put on spikes. Yes, I’m sure you already knew I was talking about Barry Bonds.
I can give you 762 reasons as to why the Home Run King should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but I’m not going to start with the All-Time Home Run Record. Let’s go back to the beginning…
Bonds made his major league debut on May 30, 1986 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and that’s the day that baseball fans were introduced to one of the greatest players of All-Time. Bonds didn’t win Rookie of the Year, but did manage to lead all National League rookies with 16 homers.
It wasn’t until 1990 when Bonds really started to show us he was on another level than other Major League players. Bonds hit .301 with 33 homers, 52 stolen bases, 104 runs scored and 114 RBI. It was the year for a lot of firsts for Bonds. He was selected to his first All Star Game (14-time All Star), first Gold Glove Award (8-time Gold Glove Award), first Silver Slugger Award (12-time Silver Slugger Award), and first MVP Award (7-time NL MVP winner).
Bonds continued to dominate year in and year out for the Pirates. He went on to sign as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants on December 8, 1992 (six year, $43.75 million). Which made him the highest paid player at that time.
1990 – 1999 (Pirates, Giants)
It’s been speculated that Bonds started using steroids in the early 2000′s. Which is why, I just want to point out his numbers in the 90′s.
Bonds batted .302 and hit 361 homers in the 90′s. He averaged 34 stolen bases, 108 RBI, 109 runs and 36 homers a season. In 1996, Bonds joined Jose Canseco in the 40-40 club (40 homers, 40 stolen bases). Let’s also not forget his 8 All Star appearances, 8 Gold Glove awards, 7 Silver Slugger awards, and 3 MVP awards in the 90′s.
In 2001, Bill James had ranked players through the 1999 season, and ranked Bonds as the 16th greatest player of All-Time. He also said Bonds was the best player in the 90′s by a huge margin, and the most unappreciated superstar of James lifetime.
If you look up all the numbers yourself, you will see that Bonds was a lock to be in the Hall of Fame prior to the steroid era. After 22 seasons of giving his life to baseball, Bonds enshrinement into the Hall of Fame now rests in the hands of the writers.
When it was all said and done, Bonds career numbers included a .298 batting average with 762 homers, 1,996 RBI, 2,227 runs scored, 514 stolen bases, and 2,558 walks.
Bonds contributed more to his team/baseball than any other player did in their career during the same era. That alone, should have him locked in to be a first ballot Hall of Famer!
Don’t forget to go to the SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on Bonds and the Hall of Fame!
~King of Cali (Steven Robles)
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