Barry Bonds is one of the most controversial players in Baseball history, and he was already a two-time defending MVP when he signed with the Giants as a Free Agent. What he accomplished with his bat in the Bay Area may never be seen again.
In his first year in San Francisco, Bonds won his first Home Run Title (46), RBI (Title (123), and was also the league leader in OBP (.458), Slugging (.677), and OPS (1.136). He won his third MVP while also winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. Bonds was as good as he always was and remained an upper-echelon power hitter throughout the 90s. As proven a commodity as he was, the game was changing around him, and other sluggers were (allegedly) increasing their hitting numbers through the use of PEDs.
At age 35, Bonds set a new personal record for Home Runs (49), and his body appeared to be changing. There would be no doubt that something was different when in 2001, he shattered Mark McGwire's single-season Home Run record with 73. Bonds won the MVP again that year, and regardless of how fans and writers viewed him, there was zero doubt that he was the most feared hitter in Baseball.
From 2001 to 2004, Bonds won every MVP, every OBP Title, Slugging Title, and OPS Title. He was so good that he was intentionally walked with the bases loaded. No player has ever, and likely will ever, have a four-year run of hitting success like that.
Following 2004, Bonds became oft-injured, but when he was at the plate, he remained unstoppable. Following his contract's expiry, the Giants nor any other club offered him an opportunity. He would retire, belting 586 Home Runs, 1,440 RBI, and recording a Slash Line of .312/.477/.666 for San Francisco.
Controversy or not, there will never be another hitter like Barry Bonds again.
The Baseball Hall of Fame may never call his name, but the Giants inducted him into their Wall of Fame in 2017.
Comments powered by CComment