Regardless of what anyone thinks about Barry Bonds as a person, there is no doubt that he was a powerful force within the game of baseball. He has 762 home runs, earning him the all-time career home run title. Bonds also has 2,935 hits and 1,996 RBI. He also has 514 stolen bases, proving that he was a threat even without a bat in his hand. Like a lot of powerful home run hitters, he also amassed a huge amount of walks including 2,558 overall and of those, 688 were intentional.
Bonds was also no stranger to the All Star Game. He was elected to represent his team a whopping 14 times. He played in the Home Run Derby in 1992 when the event was at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. Bonds was back in the Home Run Derby in 1993 when the event was at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Juan Gonzalez won that year with seven homers. Bonds gave him a run for his money with five homers. Bonds would finally have his day at the plate during the Home Run Derby in 1996. This time the place was Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the home of the Phillies. Bonds was, of course, representing the San Francisco Giants. He was facing off against some of the biggest hitters in the majors including Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Ellis Burks, Gary Sheffield and more. It was a close match-up, particularly between Bonds and Mark McGwire, but Bonds would end up with the championship.
Bonds would eventually end up with a number of records. He would break the single-season home run record, once again beating Mark McGwire’s record. He would also break the record many felt could never be broken when he hit more than 700 home runs for his entire career, and break Hank Aaron’s previous record.
All of those statistics and numbers would normally make any player a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, but it may not be enough for Bonds. That’s because, despite those impressive numbers, Bonds has been embroiled in steroid and performance-enhancing drug controversies for years. Bonds was even investigated and questioned by the federal government when they looked into the steroid usage in the game during the early 2000s. He was later accused of lying about not taking the drugs, which led to a perjury investigation and that ended up in a conviction on obstruction of justice charges in 2011. Since then, Bonds has remained largely out of the spotlight.
And it is this aspect of Bonds’ career that kept him out of the Hall of Fame in the most recent round of voting. It seemed as if a message was being sent and that message was that players who made their big numbers in the so-called “steroid era” are not going to make it into the Hall of Fame easily. However, there are sports experts, and fans, who say that the numbers are too big, too impressive, and too worthy of the Hall for the players not to end up there somehow or someway down the road. Ultimately, only time will tell for sure if Bonds will find himself in Cooperstown or not.