2,935 Hits – 762 Home Runs – .298 Batting Average – 162.8 Wins Above Replacement
Pittsburgh Pirates 1986-1992
San Francisco Giants 1993-2007
12x Silver Slugger Award
2x Batting Title Winner
8x Golden Glove Winner
3x Major League Player of the Year (Sporting News)
3x National League Hank Aaron Award Winner
5th in Slugging Percentage
4th in Wins Above Replacement
6th in On-Base Percentage
4th in Total Bases
1st in Home Runs
6th in Runs Batted In
1st in Walks
3rd in Runs
1st in Intentional Walks
This is a controversial choice, especially as my first inductee. I completely understand why some of you wouldn’t want to include him in their Hall of Fame or in the actual Hall of Fame. The funny thing is that the Baseball Hall of Fame is starting to ease it’s disdain of Bonds. The percentage of voters giving him the thumbs up has been rising steadily. In 2013, his first year on the ballot, he received a disappointing 36.2% of the votes but by 2020, he was up to 60.7%. I guess time does heal all wounds. Unless you bring up Pete Rose, for whatever reason, but we’ll discuss that another time.
Bonds did steroids. I’m not going to argue that he didn’t do steroids or that it was ok because “everyone was doing it,” but his numbers were Hall of Fame worthy before his head grew three sizes. His home run numbers were pretty spectacular his entire career. He had the obvious jump during his record-breaking 73 HR season, but he was hitting in the 40s before and after that season. If you look at the stats, that’s the only real anomaly outside of his ridiculous walk numbers but those are so high because everyone was afraid to pitch to him.
Barry Bonds needs to be forgiven and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. That’s why I chose him as the inaugural member of The Hard Part’s Baseball Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Barry.
Fun fact: Barry Bonds is the cousin of Reggie Jackson. Yes, that Reggie Jackson.