Legends On Deck

New Calls For Barry Bonds To Enter The Hall

There was a question to posed to David Ortiz by TMZ on Oct 17, 2021, if Barry Bonds was going to get into the Hall of Fame one day and Ortiz’s response, was one that maybe many baseball fans are starting to realize, that “Hopefully, he is the greatest player of all time”, said the Boston Red Sox great.

Looking back on Barry Bonds‘ career and prior to his record breaking 73 home run season in 2001, there was no doubt that he has the best swing in the game and was possibly the best all around ball player to set foot on teh field.

It was crazy to think that Bonds could be even better, but it became true from nearly one season to the next as he went from averaging close to 40 home runs a season to surpassing the single home run record of 70 previously held by Mark McGwire in 1998, when Bonds bashed 73 in 2001. Roger Maris held the single season record of 61 home runs for 37 years before McGuire surpassed the Hall of Fame great in 1998.

See all of Bonds 73 home runs here:

The one thing that was very noticeable from Bonds from 2000 to 2001, was that he became larger in body size, as he became larger than life on the field. But the belief is that the extra weight didn’t make him a better hitter, he already owned that honor, but did the extra strength make the ball go farther?, Maybe, but that doesnt make you a better ball player, just makes for great drama in the games.

Bonds was always a great hitter, but in 2001 his balls were flying out of the park in record numbers and distances.  He averaged about 410 feet on his moonshots while eclipsing over 450 feet three separate times (450, 488 and 480).

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In 22 seasons in the bigs, which started in 1986 with the Pittsburg Pirates and ended with the San Francisco Giants in 2007, Bonds played in 2986 games, scored 2227 runs, amassed nearly 3000 hits with 2935, 601 doubles, 77 triples, a record setting 762 home runs, 1996 RBIs, 2558 Walks and hit .298 for his career.  If you match those numbers with the all-time record holders, he is 6th in games played, 3rd in runs scored, 17th in doubles, 1st in HR’s, 5th in RBI’s and 1st in walks.

These numbers alone are Hall of Fame worthy, but as great of an offensive hitter that he was, he never won the big game, coming up short in the 2002 World Series, as the Giants lost to the Anaheim Angels in seven games.

Now I know I have not touched on the main reason why so many people feel he should remain out of the Hall of Fame as it relates to his transformation from a great ball player to an unbelievable powerful hitter in 2001, which most attain to the fact that he took performance-enhancing drugs and it attested to him becoming nearly superman overnight, which helped power his game to another level.

Its clear as day how the baseball writers have chosen who enters the Hall of Fame and why and you can see with the list below.

If you look at the Top 20 on this chart, the only players not to be in the Hall yet, have had some connection to the HGH era except for Albert Pujols who is still active in the game. So one could state that the players who were guilty or were accused of participating in the performance-enhancing scandal have been kept out of the Hall of Fame and maybe they all know that if Barry Bonds gets in then they would be next. What a way to punish a man that as David Ortiz stated, is the “Greatest Baseball Player of all time.”

Rank Player (yrs, age) Home Runs
1. Barry Bonds (22) 762
2. Henry Aaron+ (23) 755
3. Babe Ruth+ (22) 714
4. Alex Rodriguez (22) 696
5. Albert Pujols (21, 41) 679
6. Willie Mays+ (23) 660
7. Ken Griffey Jr.+ (22) 630
8. Jim Thome+ (22) 612
9. Sammy Sosa (18) 609
10. Frank Robinson+ (21) 586
11. Mark McGwire (16) 583
12. Harmon Killebrew+ (22) 573
13. Rafael Palmeiro (20) 569
14. Reggie Jackson+ (21) 563
15. Manny Ramirez (19) 555
16. Mike Schmidt+ (18) 548
17. David Ortiz (20) 541
18. Mickey Mantle+ (18) 536
19. Jimmie Foxx+ (20) 534
20. Willie McCovey+ (22) 521

 

If this writer had a vote, I would say that I truly enjoyed watching the 2001 season and Bonds’ quest for greatness as he shattered records all season. Has enough time passed for many writers to forgive and forget and finally put the greatest home run hitter where he belongs with other greats of the game? Well, hopefully enough time has passed for forgiveness because Bonds has just one year left on the ballot. But its not just Bonds that needs to be forgiven, because, with so many others hoping that they too are forgiven, not putting Bonds in, would mean continuing to punish the rest.

So what is the right thing to do, in a world where mistakes are made and we hope for second chances, I would say, forgive, lets move on, honor the greats of this game and open the doors to the Hall and welcome them home. I am sure Pete Rose will be greatly appreciative of the call to the Hall. I know his fans would be as well.

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David Conde
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