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Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964) is an American former professional baseball left fielder who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Bonds received seven NL MVP awards and 14 All-Star selections, and is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
Bonds was regarded as an exceptional hitter, and finished his regular season career with a very high on-base percentage (.444) and isolated power (.309). He holds many MLB hitting records, including most career home runs, most home runs in a single season (73, set in 2001) and most career walks. He also received eight Gold Gloves for his defense in the outfield. He is ranked second in career Wins Above Replacement among all major league position players by both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com, behind only Babe Ruth.
Bonds led a controversial career, notably as a central figure in baseball's steroids scandal. In 2007, he was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to the grand jury during the federal government's investigation of BALCO. The perjury charges against Bonds were dropped, and he was also initially convicted of obstruction of justice, but that was overturned in 2015.
Bonds has not been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first four years of eligibility.
In 2016, Bonds served as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins for one season.
Born in Riverside, California to former major leaguer Bobby Bonds and the former Patricia Howard, Bonds grew up in San Carlos, California and attended Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, California and excelled in baseball, basketball and football. He played on the junior varsity team during his freshman year and the remainder of his high school career on the varsity team. He batted for a .467 batting average his senior year, and was named prep All-American. The Giants drafted Bonds in the second round of the 1982 MLB draft as a high school senior, but the Giants and Bonds were unable to agree on contract terms when Tom Haller's maximum offer was $70,000 ($171,934 today) and Bond's minimum to go pro was $75,000, so Bonds instead decided to attend college.
Bonds attended Arizona State University, hitting .347 with 45 home runs and 175 runs batted in (RBI). In 1984 he batted .360 and had 30 stolen bases. In 1985 he hit 23 home runs with 66 RBIs and a .368 batting average. He was a Sporting News All-American selection that year. He tied the NCAA record with seven consecutive hits in the College World Series as sophomore and was named to All-Time College World Series Team in 1996. He graduated from Arizona State in 1986 with a degree in criminology. He was named ASU On Deck Circle Most Valuable Player; other winners include Dustin Pedroia, Willie Bloomquist, Paul Lo Duca, and Ike Davis. During college, he played part of one summer in the amateur Alaska Baseball League with the Alaska Goldpanners.
In his personal life, Bonds met Susann ("Sun") Margreth Branco, the mother of his first two children (Nikolai and Shikari), in Montreal, Quebec in August 1987. They eloped to Las Vegas February 5, 1988. The couple separated in June 1994, divorced in December 1994, and had their marriage annulled in 1997 by the Catholic Church.
On January 10, 1998, Bonds married his second wife, Liz Watson, at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel in front of 240 guests. The couple lived in Los Altos Hills, California, with their daughter Aisha during their ten and a half years of marriage before Watson filed for Legal Separation on June 9, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. On July 21, 2009, just six weeks later, Watson announced that she was withdrawing her Legal Separation action. The couple were reconciled for seven months before Watson formally filed for divorce in Los Angeles on February 26, 2010.
Home runs in a single season (73), 2001 Home runs (career) (762) Home runs against different pitchers (449) Home runs since turning 40 years old (74) Home runs in the year he turned 43 years old (28) Consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs (13), 1992–2004 Slugging percentage in a single season (.863), 2001 Slugging percentage in a World Series (1.294), 2002 Consecutive seasons with .600 slugging percentage or higher (8), 1998–2005 On-base percentage in a single season (.609), 2004 Walks in a single season (232), 2004 Intentional walks in a single season (120), 2004 Consecutive games with a walk (18) MVP awards (7—closest competitors trail with 3), 1990, 1992–93, 2001–04 Consecutive MVP awards (4), 2001–04 National League Player of the Month selections (13—2nd place: 8 – Frank Thomas; 2nd place (N.L.) – George Foster, Pete Rose and Dale Murphy) Oldest player (age 38) to win the National League batting title (.370) for the first time, 2002 Records shared Consecutive plate appearances with a walk (7) Consecutive plate appearances reaching base (15) Tied with his father, Bobby, for most seasons with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases (5) and are the only father-son members of the 30–30 club Home runs in a single post-season (8), 2002 Other accomplishments 5-time SF Giants Player of the Year (1998, 2001–04) 7-time Baseball America NL All-Star (1993, 1998, 2000–04) 3-Time Major League Player of the Year (1990, 2001, 2004) 3-Time Baseball America MLB Player of the Year (2001, 2003–04) 8-Time Gold Glove winner for NL Outfielder (1990–94, 1996–98). 12-Time Silver Slugger winner for NL Outfielder (1990–94, 1996–97, 2000–04) 14-time All-Star (1990, 1992–98, 2000–04, 2007) 3-Time NL Hank Aaron Award winner (2001–02, 2004) Babe Ruth Home Run Award (2001) Listed at #6 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranked active player, i n 2005. Named a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999, but not elected to the team in the fan balloting. Rating of 352 on Baseball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame monitor (100 is a good HOF candidate); 9th among all hitters, highest among hitters not in HOF yet. Only the second player to twice have a single-season slugging percentage over .800, with his record .863 in 2001 and .812 in 2004. Babe Ruth was the other, with .847 in 1920 and .846 in 1921. Became the first player in history with more times on base (376) than official times at bats (373) in 2004. This was due to the record number of walks, which count as a time on base but not a time at-bat. He had 135 hits, 232 walks, and 9 hit-by-pitches for the 376 number. With his father Bobby (332, 461), leads all father-son combinations in combined home runs (1,094) and stolen bases (975), respectively through September 26, 2007. Played minor league baseball in both Alaska and Hawaii. In 1983, he played for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the Alaska Baseball League, and in 1986, he played for the Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League. Featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He has appeared as the main subject on the cover eight times in total; seven with the Giants and once with the Pirates. He has also appeared in an inset on the cover twice. He was the most recent Pirate player to appear on the cover, until Jason Grilli was featured in SIs July 22, 2013 edition.
Thanks to Cynthia Edgemon Rushing for starting this profile.