On Tuesday, it was announced that Larry Walker and Derek Jeter will be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame. These two will represent the class of 2020 and be officially inducted on July 26th in Cooperstown. While these two men are very deserving, Barry Bonds is one of the greatest players of all time. Everyone knows that Barry Bonds used PEDs, however, he deserves his spot in the Hall of Fame among the greats.
Bonds Unbreakable Records
There are many unbreakable records in baseball. Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hit streak and Rickey Henderson stealing 130 bases in a season are among them. Barry Bonds, however, holds a few unbreakable records as well. The most famous record Bonds holds is the all-time home run record at 762 as well as the single-season record at 73. These records are not completely unattainable however, it would be very surprising to see anyone eclipse them anytime soon. Bonds also holds the record for the most walks in a single season. Bonds was walked 232 times in 2004. He recorded a .609 OBP in that same year. Over his career, he walked 2558 times which is also an all-time record. There will most likely not be another player in baseball to hold as many records as Bonds does.
His Insane Stats
There is not a single MLB player, past or present, living today that has better stats than Barry Bonds. As stated earlier, Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs and walks. When looking at all his stats, Barry Bonds put up video game numbers. He won seven MVPs, 12 Silver Slugger awards, and was named an all-star 14 times in his 22-year career. Bonds also finished career with 1996 RBIs, 2935 hits and a career OPS of 1.051. Bonds put up some of the best numbers ever to be seen in the game of baseball.
He was also Intentionally walked 688 times. No player has ever been more feared than Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only member of the 500 home runs and 500 steals club, as well as the 400 home runs and 400 steals club. Not a single baseball player in the past 50 years has put up better numbers than Barry Bonds.
His Career Before Juicing
Barry Bonds admitted that he began taking steroids after the 1998 season. If he were to retire that year, he would still have Hall of Fame numbers. Prior to the 1999 season, were Bonds was allegedly clean, he won three of his seven MVPs, eight gold gloves, seven silver sluggers and was named to eight all-star games. He also had 7 seasons before 1999 with an OPS of over 1.000. Only the best hitters each season will have an OPS that high. He also had five seasons with 35 or more home runs, including his 1996 season where he became a member of the highly prestigious 40-40 club when he hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases.
Barry Bonds WAR from 1986-1998 was 99.9. This would put him ahead of players such as Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Roberto Clemente and many more current Hall of Famers. He also acquired a higher WAR than these legends in much less time as he played 13 years clean while these players all had careers close to, or more than twenty years. Juicing or not, Barry Bonds was on his way to be an all-time great.
Other Steroid Users
Barry Bonds is far and beyond better than any other player that has used steroids. Yes, even Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. In fact, Barry Bond’s career WAR is better than both those players combined, and it isn’t even close. Many players have also taken steroids and did not put up numbers anywhere near what these three guys did. For example, Benito Santiago was a notorious steroid user and the highest OPS he ever had in a season was .836. He also had a career OPS of .722 which really is not impressive at all.
There is also no guarantee that every who used steroids got caught. Ken Caminiti was the first player to admit he was a steroid user. He then also stated that he believed about 50% of the league was using steroids as well. If this is indeed the case, there is no way that everyone who is a steroid user got caught. There may even be some PED users that are currently in the Hall of Fame. Now, this is not a certainty but it is for sure possible. It is unfair that Bonds may never get a spot in Cooperstown while there is a good possibility some players who used steroids as well got away with it.
Whether you love him or hate him, there is no denying that Barry Bonds has some of the most ridiculous stats of all time. Cheating or not, he was the face of baseball and he changed the game. There are not many players in any sport that will be as dominant as Bonds was in his career. We will probably never witness a player like Bonds ever again. He made baseball so entertaining for millions of fans around the world and he is deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame.