Bonds, Barry

in full Barry Lamar Bonds

born July 24, 1964, Riverside, Calif.

U.S. baseball player.

Bonds was a college All-American at Arizona State University. A left-handed power hitter and a superb base stealer, he played outfield for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1985–92) and the San Francisco Giants (from 1993). By the early 21st century, he had earned eight Gold Glove awards for fielding and had been named Most Valuable Player six times. In 2001 he hit 73 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire's single-season record of 70; that year he also had 177 walks to top Babe Ruth's record (170). His father, Bobby Bonds (1946–2003), was also an outstanding professional baseball player.

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▪ 2002

      On Oct. 5, 2001, Barry Bonds, the left fielder of the San Francisco Giants, set a single-season major league baseball record by hitting his 71st and 72nd home runs, erasing the previous mark of 70 set by Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998. Two days later, in the last game of the season, Bonds raised his total to 73. Along with his home runs, he also finished the season with an .863 slugging percentage, breaking the record of .847 set by Babe Ruth in 1920. Bonds surpassed another Ruth mark by walking 177 times, seven more than Ruth had done in 1923. Bonds hit a home run in every 6.52 times at bat, breaking McGwire's 1998 record of 7.27. His efforts were rewarded after the season ended when he was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player (MVP), the fourth time he had earned that honour.

      Barry Lamar Bonds was born on July 24, 1964, in Riverside, Calif. He was the son of Bobby Bonds, an All-Star player for the Giants and the Yankees who also played for several other teams. After showing outstanding talent as a centre fielder in high school, Bonds was drafted by the Giants in 1982. Instead, he chose to attend college at Arizona State University, where he won all-conference honours for three straight years. In 1985 the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Bonds in the first round. In his first major league season in 1986, he led all National League rookies with 16 home runs, 48 runs batted in, and 36 stolen bases in 113 games. In 1990 he hit .301 with 33 home runs and led the Pirates to a division championship. After the season he was voted the league's MVP.

      In 1991 Bonds batted .292 and hit 25 home runs and won a second MVP award. In December 1992 he left Pittsburgh as a free agent and signed a six-year, $43,750,000 contract with the Giants, which at that time was the highest pay for any major league player. Bonds enjoyed a remarkable debut season with San Francisco; he hit a career-high .336 with 46 home runs and collected his third MVP award. During the next four years, Bonds hit 37, 33, 42, and 40 home runs, and he helped his team reach the play-offs in 1997. In 2000 he smacked 49 home runs—his highest single-season total until 2001—but as in several previous years, he struggled in the play-offs, gaining only three hits in 17 at-bats against the New York Mets. Although overshadowed by his hitting, Bonds's fielding prowess also earned him several Gold Glove awards.

      As for the future, Bonds expressed a desire to continue playing for the Giants. After nine years with San Francisco, however, he was eligible for free agency, and there was some doubt that the Giants would be able to afford his salary demands.

David R. Calhoun

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▪ American baseball player
in full  Barry Lamar Bonds 
born July 24, 1964, Riverside, Calif., U.S.
 
 American professional baseball player, a great all-around player who broke the major league home run records for both a career (with his 756th home run, in 2007) and a single season (with 73 home runs in 2001). See Researcher's Note: Baseball's problematic single-season home run record.

      Bonds was born into a baseball family. His father, Bobby Bonds, was an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants. His cousin was baseball great Reggie Jackson (Jackson, Reggie). His godfather was the legendary Willie Mays (Mays, Willie), who was a teammate of Bobby Bonds. Barry Bonds excelled at baseball from early childhood. The San Francisco Giants drafted him out of high school, but he turned down the contract the team offered him and instead chose to play college baseball for Arizona State University. Bonds was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985 and joined the Pirates' major league roster in 1986.

      Bonds garnered numerous Gold Glove awards for his play in left field but was best known as an extremely productive hitter. In 2004 he became only the third major leaguer to hit more than 700 home runs in his career, and he became the major league all-time walks leader, surpassing Rickey Henderson (Henderson, Rickey). He compiled a career batting average of .300 and was such a dangerous hitter that opposing managers routinely walked him intentionally when men were on base. Bonds was also an excellent base runner, reaching the plateau of 500 career stolen bases in 2003. He was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player (MVP) seven times (1990, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004), the first player in either league to win the award more than three times.

 Bonds became a free agent in 1992 and signed with the San Francisco Giants, with whom he continued to have record-breaking seasons. He completed the 2001 season with 73 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire (McGwire, Mark)'s 1998 record of 70 home runs on October 5. In 2005 Bond's personal trainer pleaded guilty to distribution of banned steroids, leading to speculation that Bonds may have used the performance-enhancing drugs; however, Bonds testified before a grand jury in 2003 that he had never knowingly used steroids or received injections from his personal trainer. On Aug. 7, 2007, Bonds hit his 756th home run—off Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik in San Francisco—to surpass Hank Aaron (Aaron, Hank)'s career record. At the end of the season, however, Bonds became a free agent after the Giants elected not to offer him a new contract. In November 2007 he was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for his 2003 grand jury testimony.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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