Barry Bonds is on the cusp of being elected to the MLB Hall of Fame. Is this the year the San Francisco Giants legend finally surpasses that 75% threshold?
Barry Bonds has been one of the more polarizing candidates for the MLB Hall of Fame in recent memory. There is no question that the San Francisco Giants legend deserves to be immortalized based on his accomplishments and statistical profile. However, he is also considered one of the poster children for the PED Era.
Those allegations have haunted his candidacy. Bonds received just 36.2% of the vote in his first year on the ballot, and was under 40% in each of his first three years. Since then, Bonds has seen his vote share increase, topping out at 60.7% last year.
That number has improved thus far in the 2021 voting cycle. Through 114 ballots, Bonds has received 74.0% of the vote, the highest of any player on the ballot. While that is not enough for induction, it puts Bonds right on the cusp of being enshrined in Cooperstown.
Bonds’ candidacy also reflects a changing mindset amongst the voters. A new wave of voters have come through the ranks over the past few years, one that does not care as much about PED usage or any morality clauses. That can be seen as Bonds was named on five of the six ballots from first time voters; that sixth voter turned in a blank ballot.
Now, Bonds is being judged on his accomplishments and career. Both are impressive – he was a 14 time All Star, winning seven MVP awards and eight Gold Gloves. Bonds produced a .298/.444/.607 batting line, hitting 762 homers and stealing 514 bases. The all time single season and career home run leader, Bonds is also the only member of the 400-400 and 500-500 clubs, showing how dominant he was on the diamond.
One could easily argue that, even without PEDs, Bonds was a Hall of Fame player. As such, his alleged PED usage should not matter as much as it would with the likes of Roger Clemens. Bonds also never failed a PED test, unlike Manny Ramirez.
Barry Bonds will likely find himself in the Hall of Fame. It is just a matter of time for the San Francisco Giants legend.