Barry Bonds’ Top 10 Moments

Some love him and some hate him, but there’s no denying that Barry Bonds had some of the most memorable seasons in major league history during his 22-year career with the Pirates and Giants.

He hit an all-time record 762 home runs, won the National League MVP award seven times (another record), and picked up a host of other accolades while establishing himself as one of the greatest players of all time. On paper, at least, Bonds has the arguments to deserve a place among the most celebrated members of the Hall of Fame, but his path to Cooperstown has been blocked by his links to doping.

Bonds is in his 10th and final year on the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) ballot, though it remains to be seen if he will receive enough support to finally enter the Hall of Fame.

While we wait for the results to be announced on January 25, let’s take a look at the top 10 moments of Bonds’ career:

1) The King of Home Runs

Bonds became the major league’s all-time home run leader when he hit a fastball off Nationals left-hander Mike Bacsik and hit the ball between right-center field for his 756th homer, breaking the record of 33. Hank Aaron years. Bonds immediately pointed his arms up, inspiring a memorable line from veteran Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper.

“756! Bonds alone at the top,” Kuiper stated.

Bonds was greeted at the plate by his son, Nikolai, and his Giants teammates and coaches, before family members joined him on the field. Aaron congratulated him on a video message broadcast on the stadium’s giant screen. “I now step aside and congratulate Barry and his family on this historic achievement. My hope today is that achieving this record inspires others to pursue their own dreams.”

Bonds hit many milestones during his historic hunt for the home run record, but few were as special as his 660th home run, which tied his godfather and Giants legend Willie Mays for third all-time. Bonds matched the “Say Hey Kid” with a three-stripe shot off the Brewers’ Matt Kinney that ended at McCovey Cove. After touring the bases, Bonds shared a special moment on the field with Mays.

“Willie gave me his blessing,” Bonds told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017. “That’s what made the difference. For me, passing my godfather, my idol, my icon, was a very emotional thing. ‘I don’t want to do this, Willie.’ So, Willie gave me his blessing. He told me, ‘Break my record and everyone else’s. Play this game until someone rips your uniform off.”

“The 660 was the one that fired up the 756.”

Bonds entered a very exclusive club when he became the 17th player to hit 500 homers. He reached the mark with another majestic drive that went into the bay, destroying a slider by reliever Terry Adams to put the Giants up 3-2 against the Dodgers. The celebration started early in San Francisco, with the game stopped for eight minutes while Bonds took photos with two old members of the 500 club: Willie McCovey and Mays.

4) Star in the World Series

One criticism of Bonds was that he initially struggled to produce in the postseason, but eventually broke out with a spectacular performance in the 2002 World Series. Bonds hit four homers during the seven-game series between the Giants and Angels, including a majestic homer off closer Troy Percival in the ninth inning of Game 2 at Angel Stadium. The mile-long drive — which traveled an estimated 485 feet into right field — left Angels slugger Tim Salmon speechless, who was caught on camera saying, “I’ve never seen a drive that long.”

Bonds capped off an incredible year when he hit his 71st home run of the year off the Dodgers’ Chan Ho Park, breaking Mark McGwire’s mark of three years for a season. Bonds, of course, wasn’t done, adding his No. 72 against Park himself two innings later. He finished his historic 2001 campaign with 73 homers, hitting the last one on the final day of the season against the Dodgers.

6) An exciting walk-off

With Bonds sidelined while accompanying his father, Bobby, who was seriously ill, the Giants saw their losing streak reach six after being swept in Montreal. Bonds rejoined the team in San Francisco and in his first game back hit a walk-off home run off the Braves’ left-hander Ray King to give the Giants a 5-4 win in 10 innings.

Bobby would die of cancer four days later.

Bonds’ first and only home run at Yankee Stadium was unforgettable. Bonds brought the crowd to its feet in New York after hitting a titanic three-stripe all the way to right field in the first inning, securing his classic moment in the House that Ruth Built. Even Bonds himself couldn’t help but stare at the 385-foot shot off Ted Lilly, which he capped with a bat flip.

“Forget that one!” Giants broadcaster Jon Miller said. “This one’s on its way to New Jersey!”

8) Memorable Homecoming

The Giants were close to moving to St. Petersburg before a new ownership group, led by Peter Magowan, stepped into the fray and kept the team in San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, the Giants shook up the baseball world by signing Bonds to a six-year, $43.75 million deal in December 1992. That set the stage for an unforgettable first game at home at Candlestick Park, with Bonds homering in his first at-bat. his new home against the Marlins. As he walked past first base, Bonds hugged his father Bobby, San Francisco’s starting coach.

Bonds finished sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting after making his Pirates debut in 1986, but he really broke out in 1990, when he hit .301 with 33 home runs and 114 RBIs, earning his first MVP award and leading the Pirates to the postseason for the first time since 1979. Bonds also stole 52 bases to clinch his first 30-30 and went to the first of his 14 All-Star Games.

10) An unprecedented seventh MVP

Bonds finished the 2004 season with a .362 batting average, 45 home runs and 101 RBIs to win the MVP award for the fourth straight year, and seventh time overall. No other player in history has more than three. And in doing so at age 40, Bonds overtook Willie Stargel (39) as the oldest player to win the award.


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Barry Bonds’ Top 10 Moments