Barry Bonds biography
SynopsisBarry Lamar Bonds was born on July 24, 1964, in Riverside, California to baseball legend Bobby Bonds. He won numerous MVP and Golden Glove Awards and made history when he broke Hank Aaron's all-time Major League Baseball home run record of 755. Bonds' accomplishments been overshadowed by allegations regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs. His trial is due to start in 2011.
Early CareerBarry Lamar Bonds was born July 24, 1964, in Riverside, California. He made history when broke Hank Aaron's all-time Major League baseball record of 755 on August 7th, 2007. But his place in baseball history has been overshadowed by allegations regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Bonds is the son of former Giant and longtime Major League outfielder Bobby Bonds, distant cousin of baseball great Reggie Jackson, and godson of the legendary Willie Mays. Bonds graduated from Arizona State and began his Major League career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986. He joined the San Francisco Giants in 1993.
Breaking RecordsDuring his time with the San Francisco Giants, Bonds proved to be a dynamic hitter and started breaking records. In 2001, just three years after Mark McGwire hit a Major League record 70 home runs, Bonds set the sport on its ear with 73. Bonds denied taking steroids at anytime in 2001 when he was pursuing the season home-run record.
A finicky hitter, Bonds set a Major League record for walks with 177. But he was just as attentive as he was patient, hitting 23 homers on the first or second pitch. He led all players in slugging percentage (.863) and runs scored (146). Among National Leaguers, he finished fourth in RBI and seventh in batting average (.328). Utilizing a short, yet powerful stroke, Barry hit his 500th career home run early in the 2001 season.
Bonds began the 2002 season with 567 home runs and 484 stolen bases. As history's only player with at least 400 career home runs and 400 stolen bases, Bonds needed just 16 of the latter to carve out his very own 500-500 niche.
After battling lung cancer and other health complications, Bonds' father, baseball great Bobby Bonds, died in August 2003. Despite this loss, he remained strong at bat, hitting 45 home runs that season and winning the National Leaguev's Most Valuable Player Award that year. Unfortunately, his success as a player was marred by accusations of steroid use.
Accusations of Steroid UseThe allegations surfaced during an investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). The company's president and Bonds' nutritionist, Victor Conte Jr., and Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, were suspected of dispensing illegal performance-enhancing drugs. A close associate of both men, Bonds was called to testify before the grand jury. At the time, he denied knowingly using steroids.
Despite the controversy, Bonds had another successful season the next year, again hitting 45 home runs and winning the National MVP Award for the seventh time. But he was sidelined most of 2005 with a knee injury. When he returned to the game, he was still hitting home runs, just not as many as he used to. Bonds finished up the 2006 season with 26 home runs.
Home Run RecordIn 2007, Bonds finally beat Hank Aaron's all-time home run record of 755 in August. Despite achieving this milestone, he learned late in the 2007 season that the San Francisco Giants didn't want him back in 2008. Bonds became a free agent.
There was more bad news for him later that year. Barry Bonds was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in his earlier grand jury testimony in November. He entered a plea of not guilty on December 7th to these charges.
On his website, Bonds posted a statement, saying in part, "Despite the charges that have been filed against me, I still have confidence in the judicial system...And I know that when all of this is over, I will be vindicated because I am innocent."
Bonds has expressed an interest to play in 2008 season, but with his legal situation it is unclear whether any team will sign him.
During his career so far, Bonds earned seven National League Most Valuable Player awards, with Pittsburgh in 1990 and 1992, and with San Francisco in 1993 and four years straight between 2001 and 2004. The legendary left fielder has also won eight Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence.