However his accomplishments may be tainted, Barry Bonds will have his number retired by the San Francisco Giants this coming season.
It may come with a big asterisk for a lot of people, due to likely ties to performance-enhancing drugs, but Barry Bonds is MLB’s all-time leader with 762. He also holds the all-time single season record for home runs, with 73 in 2001.
Over six years on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, particularly since 2015, Bonds has climbed toward the required 75 percent for election. He was put on 56.4 percent of ballots this year, compared to just 36.8 percent in 2015, as older voters are being phased out and younger voters that view steroids as an era in baseball rather than a black mark on specific players replace them.
No matter what is thought of his statistics being skewed, and of him as an acidic personality when he was a player, Bonds is one of baseball’s all-time greats. During the 2018 season, the Sam Francisco Giants will give him some due.
Bonds’ No. 25 will be retired on Aug. 11, when the Pittsburgh Pirates are in town to play the Giants. That’s not a coincidence, as Bonds was drafted by the Pirates out of Arizona State in 1985 and spent his first seven major leagues there (1986-1992).
Bonds spoke about the honor.
Bonds’ godfather, the legendary Willie Mays, has a statue outside AT&T Park and it’s worth wondering if Bonds will eventually get one of his own there some day. A call to Cooperstown is a virtual prerequisite for a statue though, so that may have to wait until Bonds gains induction.
That said, the Giants are making an exception to their own previous “rule” by retiring Bonds’ number without him being in the Hall of Fame first. So an exception for a permanent fixture like a statue could also eventually be made. As a nod to his multiple “splash landings” into McCovey Cove, a prospective Bonds’ statue has to be outside the right field wall at AT&T Park.