A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 4 Barry Bonds (Number 1 Left Field)

A friend and I use to laugh when Barry Bonds played because we read somewhere that taking steroids gave you a big head and it looked like Barry’s head had grown.

I had another friend who was a big Pittsburg fan and we were watching the Monday night football game on October 14, 1991. Earlier we had watched, the Pirates had won earlier in the day and were up 3-2 on the Braves. I am a Twins fan and the Twins were already in the World Series and we were hoping see Pittsburg and Minnesota play in the World Series. Anyway, Barry went from the ballpark to the football stadium to watch Pittsburg Steelers play the New York Giants. Of course, he was show by the Steelers bench. My friend said what are you doing there you haven’t hit at all this series. He wouldn’t either as Pittsburg was shut out the last two games. He did hit a double in game 7.

This was his worst playoff series, and Barry had a reputation for not hitting in the post season until 2002. However, looking at the record a couple weren’t that bad. His first post season the year before he hit .167 with no extra base hits, but he walked 6 times. So, he was on base 9 times in 6 games and scored 4 runs. Not a bad amount of runs to score in 6 games. Pittsburg made the playoffs again in 1992 and Bonds hit .261 with a double and home run in the seven games. Not great, but not terrible. He also walked 6 times and was on base 11 times in 7 games. He scored 5 runs in those 7 games. Again, not a bad series.

I knocked off up to 10 percent for steroid use. Barry got 10 percent knocked off his whole career. In a way I understand the players quandary. They wanted to get better, getting stronger and in shape helps you get better. Did they want steroids when they started the exercise? According to their trainer they did. He said he wasn’t going to give them steroids, but they told him they wanted steroids, or they would get someone else.

However, can he be believed. I’m sure if this really happened, he didn’t mind breaking the law to get his clients steroids. He was just in it for the money. So that is a point against his trustworthiness. In an interview he also talked about an arrest for an incident with his girlfriend. He tried to say he was guilty, but it was due to circumstances. However, the story he told wasn’t consistent in my opinion, so another point lost on his trust scale.

Not that I think Bonds was innocent. I think he was a great player before he started taking steroids. A better player after he started taking steroids. So, in my mind I gave him a penalty to level the playing field. Of course, being named the fourth best player of all time isn’t all bad.



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