This post was initially published in The Cliff Notes by CSN contributor Cliff Gibson.
Say what you want about Barry Lamar Bonds, the greatest hitter in baseball history, but if you say he doesn’t deserve his place in baseball’s Hall of Fame, you might want to brush up on why the Hall exists in the first place.
Let’s go back over Bonds numbers very briefly. 762 home runs (most all-time), almost 3,000 hits, a career .300 hitter with almost 10,000 ABs. 2500 walks to just 1500 strikeouts. And of course, a single-season record 73 homers in 2001. Oh wait … 14-time All-Star, 12-time Silver Slugger, 8-time Gold Glover, 7-TIME MVP, and two batting titles.
But the voters, more specifically, the writers that make up the Baseball Writers Association of America, don’t want to look at his numbers. They want to talk about PEDs (which he never tested positive for) and drag Bonds through the same mud that Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro slopped through during their embarrassing congressional hearings. But there’s just nothing there, he never admitted to nor tested positive for using steroids. The claim that he did is based solely on the fact that his historic 73-homer season came during the height of the steroid era. That’s not evidence.
Let’s also remember most of the voters in the BBWAA had less than favorable opinions of Bonds because he never cared for building relationships with the media members. Coincidentally, he probably built that wall as a child watching his father (Barry Bonds Sr.) and godfather (Willie Mays) get constantly dragged by sportswriters during their careers.
The writers clearly didn’t want Bonds in the HOF. That much is certain. They wanted to keep him out so badly that they went against what the Hall of Fame stands for in the first place – to preserve the history of the game.
I can’t think of a player more historical over the past 30 years than Barry Bonds. And if the Hall of Fame, the MLB, and baseball writers truly cared about preserving its history, the most historical player of the modern era should have his place among the others.