July 9th, 2017
(San Francisco, CA) — The relationship between the San Francisco Giants and Barry Bonds has always been a complicated one. On one hand, Bonds is one of the teams legendary alumni, the home run king, one of the most electrifying athletes to ever play the sport, and arguably one of the best players in the history of the game, but the picture has not always been rosy. Warranted or not, Bonds has had a reputation that’s always followed him, whether it’s been clashes with teammates, the media, or what role he played in an era of baseball marked by steroid use. Immediately following his retirement from baseball, there was little reminisce of the thrills Bonds provided Giants fans for his long career with the team, save for a plaque in right center field honoring his 756 recording breaking home run in 2007. Even while Bonds holds both the single-season and career home run records, he’s yet to get the call to Cooperstown to join the Baseball Hall of Fame. If it’s true that the passage of time heals all wounds, Giants fans got a glimpse of this first hand Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park
Bonds was honored on the Giants “Wall of Fame”, honoring the teams best players from throughout it’s history – Bonds being the 49th player added to the wall since it’s debut in 2008. Many Giants luminaries from management and former teammates attended the ceremony to honor bands, with thousands of fans lining King Street to catch a glimpse of one of baseballs most exciting players in history. Bonds spent last year as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins (who fittingly, were the Giants opponents that afternoon and his close relationship with many of players was very clear), before parting ways with the team and ultimately rejoining the Giants organization in an advisory role. Bonds joked that in his new role he was happy to do whatever the team asked and, unlike during his playing days, impart his knowledge of the game to whoever he was asked to. After the plaques unveiling, Bonds addressed the crowd gathered in front of “The House that Bonds Built”, by thanking the fans for cheering for him and telling heartfelt stories of how he want to make his father, Bobby Bonds, and godfather, Willie Mays, proud. As the relations between Bonds and the Giants seems to be repairing, it’s possible the retirement of his #25 jersey could also be a potential down the road – could a call from the Hall follow? Only time will tell.