MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2019 ballot

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 29: Seats are seen at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 29, 2018 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 29: Seats are seen at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 29, 2018 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 36
Next
(Photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images) /

Barry Bonds – 7th year on ballot (56.4% in 2018)

We all know the numbers, and we all know the story.

There has been no one quite like Barry Bonds in baseball history. Not only is he one of the eight players to join the 300 homer/300 stolen base club, but he is the only player in the 400-400 and 500-500 clubs. Bonds was a 14 time All Star, a seven time MVP, an eight time Gold Glove winner, and a 12 time Sliver Slugger. He owns the single season and career home run records. Bonds walked over 1000 times more than he struck out. His overall .298/.444/.607 batting line, with 762 homers, 601 doubles, and 514 steals, are the stuff of video games.

Then there is the other side. Allegations of PED usage dogged the latter part of Bonds’ career. He was involved in the BALCO scandal, in which his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was implicated. Bonds admitted to using substances called the cream and the clear, which he thought were flaxseed oil, and was later found guilty on a felony charge of obstructing justice. That conviction was later overturned on appeal, but the damage to his reputation had been done.

This desire to erase Bonds and his accomplishments from the game, and to ignore his greatness, is a disservice to the history of baseball. The Steroid Era had been celebrated, with the media and fans raving about Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chasing home run records, and the “chicks dig the longball” advertisements. In the end, the Steroid Era is no different than the Pre-integration Era, the Deadball Era, or any other era in the history of the game. It happened, and Bonds, regardless of his usage, was the greatest player in that time.

Barry Bonds deserves to be in the MLB Hall of Fame. It is long past time that he gets his due.