25 Giant Facts and Figures about Barry Bonds

bonds

Photo via @SFGiants Twitter account. 

The San Francisco Giants announced yesterday that on August 11, before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, they will finally retire the number 25 in honor of Barry Lamar Bonds. This video is so cool, I wish it were longer.

 

The Giants usually only retire the numbers of players who made the Hall of Fame. After 6 years of the greatest hitter any of us has ever seen getting shut out of the hall, the Giants decided to make their own decision.

 

I applaud them for it. Barry Bonds has been welcomed back in to the fold slowly over the last few years and Giants fans are grateful. He got his plaque last season, will have his number retired, so now we wait on the statue. They could just rename the park after him, that would be cool. He is the reason it’s standing.

 

In recognition of this wonderful honor, I’m taking a stroll through the years and bringing you 25 facts and tidbits from the career of Barry Lamar Bonds. Everything below is from his MLB career. Thank goodness he didn’t wear number 58 or something. That would be a long list, and I don’t have enough coffee for that.

 

  1. Barry Bonds was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 1982 draft by the Giants, but he did not sign. He opted for college and attended Arizona State University before being drafted again, this time by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (6th pick) of the 1985 draft. He signed almost immediately.

  2. Bonds made his MLB debut on May 30, 1986 at home for the Pirates against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted lead-off, played center field, went 0-for-5 with 3 K’s and a walk during a 6-4 loss in 11 innings. He was such a rookie, his uniform number was still number 7.

  3. His first MLB hit came the next day off Dodgers left-hander Rick Honeycutt. Bonds hit a double to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning. It was his only hit that day.

  4. On June 4, in Atlanta, Bonds hit the first of 762 home runs he would hit in his career. In the 5th inning of a 12-3 Pirates rout of the Braves, Barry hit one out to left field off Craig McMurtry. It was his 25th at bat as a big leaguer and he was still playing center field and batting leadoff. You can watch it here.

  5. Barry finished the 1986 season with 16 home runs after spending much of the season at the top of the order. He only hit .223, but got on base at a .330 clip and walked a healthy 65 times in 484 plate appearances. Bonds finished 6th in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, won by pitcher Todd Worrell of the Cardinals.

  6. In 1987, Bonds was able to secure the number 24 for his uniform in honor of his favorite player, and godfather, Willie Mays. The two would continue to be intertwined for the rest of Bonds’s career.

  7. On June 20, 1987, in his 175th career game, Bonds had his first career multi-homer game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Barry went 3-for-4 that day with 2 homers and a double. The first homer, and the double, was off Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, a name we will see again. In his career, Barry Bonds had 71 games with multiple home runs, an NL record, but never hit 4 HR in one game.

  8. By the end of 1987, Bonds hit 25 home runs. It was his first of 19 seasons with 20 or more home runs. Only Hank Aaron had more, and he did it in 20 straight years.

  9. Bonds finished 1990 with 33 home runs and 52 stolen bases. He joined the “30/30 club” of players who had over 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. His father Bobby achieved the feat 5 times during his playing career, with his final 30/30 season (1978) coming 12 years before Barry’s first.

  10. Barry won his first National League MVP award after the 1990 season. He missed out in 1991, coming in 2nd to Terry Pendelton of the Braves. Bonds bounced back to take it again in 1992 for the Pirates.

  11. On December 6, 1992, news broke that Barry Bonds was signing as a free agent with his hometown team, the San Francisco Giants. After spurning offers from other clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox, Bonds chose to come to the bay and become the highest paid player in baseball.

  12. There was talk of un-retiring #24 so that Barry could wear the same number he had in Pittsburgh. Willie Mays was on board and granted Bonds permission to use the number if he wanted. In the end, Barry decided to honor his father Bobby, who had just been named hitting coach of the Giants under Dusty Baker and wear his number 25.

  13. 1993 brought Barry Bonds his first MVP in a Giants uniform. He led the league in HR’s for the first time in his career, belting out 46 for the orange and black that season. I’m not going to mention how that season ended, this post is all about love and fun.

  14. On April 27, 1996, Bonds hit the 300th home run of his career. At that time he became the 4th player in MLB history to hit 300 home runs and steal 300 bases in a career. Two of the other three to do that before him? His father Bobby and godfather Willie Mays.

  15. Bonds ended 1996 with 42 homers and 40 stolen bases. He became the 2nd member of the “40/40 Club” after Jose Canseco did it in 1988. There are now 4 members of this club. Alex Rodriguez went 42/46 in 1998 and Alfonso Soriano had a 46/41 line in 2006. Despite this rare feat, the fact that Bonds set a then NL record with 151 walks and led in just about every statistical category, he came in 5th in the NL MVP voting. For some reason.

  16. The 1997 season was the fifth and final time Barry Bonds hit over 30 home runs and stole over 30 bases in the same season. That tied him for most 30/30 season all-time with, you guessed it, his father Bobby. The elder Bonds achieved all five of his 30/30 seasons during a 10-year span. Barry got the best of him there and did it over an 8-year stretch.

  17. In a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Giants on May 28, 1998, Barry Bonds was walked intentionally with the BASES LOADED. The DBacks had entered the bottom of the 9th inning with a 3-run lead and the Giants pushed 1 across as Bonds came to the plate with 2 outs in the 9th with his team trailing by 2 runs. Rather than risk getting beaten by one swing of Barry’s mighty maple bat, Arizona manager Buck Showalter had him put on first base and forced in a run to make it an 8-7 game, but keep the lead for his team. Alas, Brent Mayne lined out next to end the threat and the move actually worked as the Dbacks won the game. That part still drives me nuts. It freaking worked.

  18. On August 23, 1998, Barry Bonds hit the 400th home run of his career in Miami. It put him alone as the only player in history with 400 homers and 400 stolen bases. He also became the only member of the 500/500 club when he reached that plateau in 2001.

  19. Speaking of that 500th home run, Barry had a knack for hitting the important home runs on the shores of McCovey Cove. Or in this case, into the cove. On April 17, 2001, he became the 18th man in history with 500 career home runs during a night game against the Dodgers. Go watch the video I linked on this one. remember those crazy boat races to get home run balls in the cove? Fun times. How did people not lose limbs?

  20. The 2001 season was a magical one for Barry Bonds. We’re just getting going for that year. On a beautiful afternoon on August 11th at Wrigley Field, Barry hit his 50th home run of the season. It was a 3-run homer to center field with 2 outs in the 2nd inning. The first time he ever accomplished that feat in his career. Barry’s 50th homer came in the Giants 117th game of 2001, the fewest amount of games ever for a player to reach 50 home runs in one season. He also became the oldest player to accomplish the feat at age 37. I remember this one particularly well, because I was there. And yes, I was also wearing #25 that day.

  21. On a Friday night at home against the Dodgers in October of 2001, Barry Bonds broke the all-time single season record for home runs. How do I group these together? Is 71 the magical homer because it broke the single season record? Number 72 was also fun because it was the same night as 71 and helped keep the Giants in the game. Or is it number 73? Hit into the arcade and the cause of a mad scramble and countless other shenanigans. I’m a sucker for 71 and 72 myself. I’ll never forget that night. Or that season.

  22. After the 73 home run season, Bonds put together an amazing 3-year stretch between 2002-04. Who does that? Breaks the single season record for homers and then has 3 even better all around batting years. He averaged 45 homers, and batted .358 with 2 batting titles. The only 2 of his career. On top of all that, Bonds walked an average of 193 times during that 3-year stretch, setting a record in 2004 with 232 walks. Of the 578 walks issued to Barry from 02-04, an astonishing 249 were intentional. Rubber chickens everywhere.

  23. 660. It’s a number that meant so much growing up to young Barry Bonds. It’s the career home run total for his idol, Willie Mays. Who am I kidding, Willie is everyone’s idol. Anyway, who can forget when Barry tied his godfather with 660 home runs? It happened on April 12, 2004, once again at home. Barry cranked one into the water and after he crossed the plate, Willie was there to greet him with a torch he had received for being a part of the 1996 Olympic ceremonies and had slightly altered for Bonds. He literally passed the torch to Barry. What a moment for fans of both players. The joy Willie gets out of seeing Barry do great things will just bring a smile to your face.

  24. August 7, 2007. Number 756. In the bottom of the 5th inning of a tied ballgame, Bonds smashed a 3-2 pitch from Washington Nationals left hander Mike Bacsik into the center field bleachers at AT&T Park to become the all time career home run leader in MLB history. His son Nikolai greeted him at the plate, there was a message from Hank Aaron and Willie Mays joined Barry on the field. It was the last great on-field moment in an unbelievable career.

  25. Here’s a few other nuggets I picked up while researching this. Bonds won the MVP award 7 times. No other player in history has more than 3. In 2002, Bonds hit 8 home runs in the postseason. A record that has now been matched twice but never broken. Barry homered against every single franchise currently in Major League Baseball, except one. The Tampa Bay Rays. He only had 19 PA’s vs Tampa and none left the yard. On the flip side, he did the most damage against the San Diego Padres, knocking 87 home runs in his career against them. Five different pitchers gave up 8 home runs to Barry Bonds. The most by any pitchers. Two are in the Hall of Fame, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. One other is getting close, Curt Schilling. Not only does Barry Bonds hold the all time record for home runs, he also holds the record for most walks with 2558. Of those, 688 were intentional, also a record. And finally, I mentioned it at the top, but it bears repeating; Barry’s #25 will be the first number retired by the Giants of a player or manager who has yet to be voted into the Hall of Fame. *crosses fingers*

That’s it. That’s the list. Did you make it to the end? Are you as excited as we are about August 11th vs Pittsburgh? We here at TortureCast will do our best to be at that game, and we will share that day with you as much as possible.

Remember, Chad will be at Fan Fest Media Day on February 9th. Look for interviews and video from that day in the near future. Our podcast hosting issues have settled down, so you should be able to receive all our future episodes, as well as any you may have missed, on all your favorite podcast players. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

No longer do we have to lobby to #Retire25. Now it’s just #Bonds25 and we get to enjoy the ride.

Eric

 

 

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