Barry Bonds had a long and decorated Major League career – on that is worthy of consideration for induction in baseball’s Hall of Fame – playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants
He won seven Most Valuable Player awards – including four straight from 2001 to 2004. He drove in 1,996 runs, scored 2,227 times, swiped 514 bases and socked a Major League record 762 home runs.
A brief breakdown of those 762 blasts reveals the following:
- They came off 449 pitchers (Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz tied with three others giving up the most – 8)
- These pitchers played on 28 different teams, but
- No team was smashed by Bonds more than the Padres (87)
- He did it in 36 parks (160 at AT&T Park, 140 at Candlestick)
- 75 came from the lead-off spot (imagine a guy with 762 homers at the top of the order!)
- 3 home runs didn’t even leave the park
The journey began here in Atlanta’s Fulton-County Stadium against future trivia question answer Craig McMurtry:
On June 4, 1986, a skinny 21-year-old *center* fielder hit the first homer of his career.
Barry Bonds went on to hit another 761 of them. pic.twitter.com/4S6gC5cnWO
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) December 29, 2016
Now, let’s fast forward more than 20 years and 760 homers later where Ubaldo Jimenez allowed the last of Bonds’ 26 homers at Coors Field:
There is a wonderful symmetry in Bonds’ first and last blasts in that both were mashed out to left field. Sometimes, baseball can be poetic.
There is, of course, something to be said about the evolution from a skinny center fielder at age 21 into a hulking monster by age 42, but let’s skip that for today and just admire the fact that his beautiful left-handed power stroke didn’t change in the 7,763 days between his first and last home runs.
BONUS: Let’s watch Bonds talk about the joy of hitting home runs while the eight-time Gold Glove winner robs them.