Barry Bonds: That MLB MVP Guy

Loved by some, loathed by others, Barry Bonds was a lightening-rod throughout his 22-year Major League Baseball career. A high-average hitter, during his first seven MLB seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bonds would blossom into a complete player during his 15 years with the Giants. Though dogged by steroid controversies, there is no denying that Bonds is one of greatest players in MLB history.

Who Is Barry “US” Bonds?

Born on July 24, 1964, in Riverside, California, the apple didn’t fall from the tree as Barry is the son of former MLB star Bobby Bonds. Growing up in San Carlos, CA, Bonds was a three-sport athlete at Junípero Serra High School as he was a star football, basketball and baseball player. If his lineage was not enough to get him noticed (Barry’s father was a three-time MLB All-Star) Bonds shinned brightly on MLB radars after he posted a .467 batting average during his high school senior year.

Drafted by San Francisco, during the second round (39th OA) of the 1982 MLB Draft, Bonds and SFG couldn’t reach a contract agreement so he decided on college as his next step and attended Arizona State University. During three seasons with the Sun Devils, Bonds posted a .347 average while belting 45 home runs to along with 175 runs batted in. Re-entering the MLB Draft in 1985, the future MLB career home run leader was selected sixth overall by the NL Pittsburgh Pirates.  


Pittsburgh Pirates Seven-Year Statistics

Losing their rights to Bonds, because he did not sign after being drafted in 1982, San Francisco decided to pass on Bonds and they selected first baseman Will Clark with the second overall pick in 1985. Clark was a stud during his eight seasons by The Bay and ended up as a .303 hitter over his 15-year MLB career. So it wasn't a total whiff by the Giants. During a short stint in the minors (A and AAA) Bonds recorded 122 hits, including 20 home runs, and he posted a .305 batting average.

That was enough for the Buccos management as Bonds made the leap to the Majors and played in 113 games during his 1986 rookie season. Largely due to a career low .223 batting average, Bonds finished sixth in the MLB ROY voting  - behind a bunch of no-bodies and Clark who finished fifth. During his final six seasons in the Steel City, Bonds averaged a .283 hitting pace and led the Pirates to a first place finish in the NL East three times (1990, 91, 92) to close out his career in Pittsburgh.

Although Bonds was mashing by the Monongahela during the regular season, with a .301 three year batting average (92 HR, 452 hits) during 444 games played, Pittsburgh failed to advance to the World Series. Bonds fired blanks in three straight National League Championship Series (.192 BA and 13 hits during 83 at-bats) and the Buccos lost in NLCS to the Cincinnati Reds (1990) and the Atlanta Braves in 1991 and 1992. Bonds won two of a MLB record seven MVP Awards as a Pirate.

San Francisco Giants Stats & Overall Records

Leaving Steel Town, during the 1992-93 offseason, Bonds headed West to follow in the massive footsteps of his father Bobby who played seven seasons in San Fran and his Godfather Willie Mays who spent 22 illustrious years by The Bay. Wearing #24, in honour of Mays in Pittsburgh, Bonds switched to his dad's #25 as the SF Giants had already retired his Godfather’s jersey number. At the time, Bonds six-year $43.7 million dollar deal was the most lucrative contract in baseball history. 

We find it rather amusing that $43.6 ML doesn't even secure a "sixth-man" in the NBA these days as Warriors SF Andre Iguodala just signed (2017) a $48 ML three-year contract extension to remain in Golden State. However, we digress. Blossoming into a power-hitter, while maintaining a high batting average and on-base percentage, Bonds started smashing home runs at a very high rate as he clubbed 46 dingers and drove in 123 runs during his first season at Candlestick Park in 'Frisco.

Often labeled a pompous ass, plus allegedly linked to steroids, isn't enough for us to dismiss Barry Bonds' amazing career. As a 14X All Star, Bonds was a Fantasy Baseball stud on many nights as he posted a .298 BA and drove in 1996 runs over 22 seasons. He also crushed a record 762 home runs and his 73 big flies in 2001 is the single-season record. A feared hitter, the Bay Bomber was walked intentionally 688 times and his 2558 free passes are both records that'll never be broken.

Final Thoughts & Online Sports Betting Advice

Some final nuggets of greatness; Bonds (162.4) ended his career second only to the immortal Babe Ruth (163.1) on the all-time MLB  "Wins Above Replacement" list. He was pretty lethal with the leather as well - earning eight Golden Glove Awards. While we feel Pete Rose not being in the Hall of Fame is incredibly vindictive of the HOF powers-that-be, not to mention just flat-out wrong, Bonds will receive his call to The Hall soon. Receiving votes in the 35% range, during his first three years of eligibility, Barry jumped to 53.8% in 2017 - so he is getting close to the 75% threshold.

Canadian handicappers are reminded that the CSB Top Five Table includes sportsbooks that offer hardball odds on leagues from Tokyo to Toronto and all places in between. Bookmakers who cut their teeth in Canada, like Bodog and SportsInteraction, are MLB wagering experts. Add in our British friends at Bet365 and William Hill, plus rising star BetWay, and Canuck 'Cappers have plenty of options to help steer them clear of the Provincial Sports Lottery betting pitfalls. Who is The Guy in MLB for you? Tell us on Facebook and he may be featured in a future Learn To Earn video.