This Tuesday, January 22nd is the MLB Hall of Fame voting announcement and it’s still crazy that Barry Bonds has not been voted in yet. Bonds is entering his seventh year on the ballot and has hovered in the middle of voting, went down a bit, and has been trending in the right direction the last couple years. In the voting, he is around 56 percent and he needs to get to 75 percent to make it to Cooperstown. The younger voters have definitely helped out Bonds the last few years and everyone probably just wants to see him sweat a bit. This is ridiculous because the Hall of Fame tells the good and bad stories of each baseball era, and Bonds was the King of the steroid era.
Bonds is one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. He could hit for power and average, be a speedster on the bases, make great defensive plays, and had an incredible arm. He is the homerun king with 762 homeruns. Bonds also has MLB records in homeruns in a single season (73), most career walks (2558), and career intentional walks (688). He won seven MVP awards, was a 14-time all-star, won eight gold gloves, and 12 silver slugger awards. This past season, the Giants retired his number and Willie Mays told everyone to get this man in. “On behalf of all the people in San Francisco, and all over the country, vote this guy in.” Even though Mays is Bonds godson, you should probably listen to the Say Hey Kid.
The Hall of Fame already has some players voted in from the steroid era, who were accused of PED use, including Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell. These guys were amazing players and deserved to make it in, but they aren’t the ones who will be remembered during this era as the top guns. That belongs to the most feared hitter in Bonds and the best pitcher in Rogers Clemens. Another thing is if you look at Bonds statistics from the 90s, he is still getting 30 plus homeruns, 100 plus rbis, numerous amounts of steals, and leading the league in slugging and on base percentage. So, he was a Hall of Famer before taking steroids in the early 2000s. Some guys took steroids and still couldn’t touch Bonds 90s numbers and that truly shows how talented this guy was.
Now Peds weren’t banned in baseball until 1991 and players weren’t getting tested until 2003. Isn’t it possible that some of the best guys in the history of baseball used something to help with their baseball skills? If the writers are keeping Bonds out on a moral standpoint, then they should look at some of the players back in the day who had some skeletons in their closet. The steroid era will always be considered tainted, but you can’t just keep that part of history out of the hall. When Bonds gets in, probably in another few years, he will have the steroids attached to his legacy, but people will also remember how incredible his game was.
– Michael Garaventa, WTF Sports Intern