Does Barry Bonds deserve to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Rizzo’s Resolve Pro


Steven Rissotto '20

Steven Rissotto ’20, Sports Editor

In a storied and illustratedcareer, Barry Bonds defied allodds in an era where video game statistics became the norm. He blasted a total of 762 career home runs and earned 2,558 walks, the most all-time for anyone who’s ever sported a big league jersey.

He also holds the single season home run record with 73 in the emotional year of 2001. His accolades and his meaning to the City of San Francisco was one for the ages.

Before he started blasting home runs into San Francisco Bay, Bonds was a young, athleticoutfielder with the PittsburghPirates. His dreams of becoming superior were at their peak when he won two MVPs before he signed with the Giants in 1993. It saved baseball in San Francisco, as owner Bob Lurie had a deal in place to send his dear Giants to Tampa Bay.

I think it’s fair to say that the steroid era is one of the biggest debates and times in baseball history. Bonds found himself in the middle of the conversation, and his tough personality fueledthe fire for the media. Forreporters and oppositions, he was easy to hate. Behind the scenes, he worked harder than anyone.

He never tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, even after the testing became more advanced towards the end of his career. In court documents, it was revealed he used steroid cream, but unknowingly, he said.

The Baseball Writers Association of America votes for the Hall of Fame annually, and when Barry Bonds’ turn came up in 2013, they embarrassed themselves. He received 36.2 percent of the 75 percent needed to get in. After all, the writers made quite a career of writing about the era, so why don’t they give the respect back?

Bonds’ first rumored time usingsteroids was 1999, and he was already in the 400 home run/400 stolen base club. He also had eight Rawlings’ Gold Glove awards forhis work in left field. So, he wasalready a Hall of Famer before he used steroids.

Next, Oakland slugger Jose Canseco estimated that about 80 percent of baseball players at the time were juicing, which means Bonds was playing against pitchers who were on the same stuff he allegedly was, and performed against them at an elite level.

Who knows? Maybe a steroid user is already in. Jeff Bagwell had connections early in his career to PEDs. Mike Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round and had poor minor league statistics. Ivan Rodriguez was among those that Canseco called out for using in his bestselling book. There are steroid guys in the Hall of Fame already, so what’s the big deal?

Bonds hit the ball so far, so how do we know steroids helped him? I would estimate that he would have lost 35 home runs, and still would be over the illustrious 700 marker on the famous home run record list.

In September, the Giants retired Bonds’ number, 25, in a ceremony before a game against the Pirates. Willie Mays, one of baseball’s greatest of all-time and Bonds’ godfather, begged the baseball writers to to vote him in, which is important coming from someone with Mays’ pedigree.

Cooperstown is a museum of baseball greatness, not a fraternity. If you leave out Bonds and other potential users, you’re leaving out an entire era. The game evolves, and it won’t be played the same forever. Barry Bonds is the greatest player of all-time and deserves to have his plaque hanging in the halls with iconic superstars in baseball history. When the voting is announced in January, Bonds should have his totals go up, or make the jump and get in.