There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Barry Bonds since December of ’01 when Bonds was accused of using steroids. Bonds claimed boyhood friend Greg Anderson gave him a supplement he took named “Cream and Clear” and told him it was a nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis. Bonds said he did not know what he was taking was a banned substance. The truth will likely never be fully known, but most suspect Bonds is a cheater. Even if he is, you should not automatically discard Bonds from the Hall of Fame and the conversation of greatest baseball player ever; and if you do, you are dead wrong.
First, let’s start with the MVP award that is given out to the best American League and National League player at the end of the season. Bonds has won a Major League leading 7 MVP awards ( ’90, ’92, ’93, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04) and has the most consecutive MVP awards in MLB history with 4. First ballot Hall of Famer and Yankee great Mickey Mantle only won 3. Barry Bonds played in 14 all-star games, which puts him 7th on the all-time list in MLB history, tying him with Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, and Warren Spahn. Add 8 gold glove awards, placing Bonds in the top 5 in MLB history. Bonds also stole 514 bases, which makes him one of 37 players in MLB history to ever reach this mark, and puts him ahead of Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio and Paul Molitor. Bonds racked up 1,996 RBI’S over his career, 3rd all time in MLB history behind Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Bonds is one of only 10 players in MLB history to ever reach 1900 RBI’S. Bonds added 2,935 hits and had a career batting average of .298 that shows how pure of a hitter he was. Lastly, of course, Barry Bonds is the all-time home run leader in MLB history with 762.
|MVPs||7 (4 consecutive)|
Again, if you are automatically discarding Bonds from the Hall of Fame and the conversation of greatest baseball player ever, you are dead wrong.
Taking steroids makes you stronger but it does not make you have great hand eye coordination, does not help you read the ball off the bat to run down a ball in the gap, and it does not make you know when it is a good runner’s count to swipe a bag. Zydrunas Savickas and Terry Hollands are the World’s Strongest Men, but I doubt either one of them can hit a High School pitcher, and defiantly can’t hit Major League pitching.
If you are discarding Bonds’ numbers because you feel he got added strength from a supplement, you should drop that debate. An athlete can have all the strength in the world literally, but without the pure swing he or she is a weightlifter- not the greatest baseball player of all time. Can you really leave a player out of the Hall of Fame who leads MLB history in HRs and MVP awards while being one of five players ever to win 5 gold gloves and 3rd all time in RBIS? Is it a stretch to say he is the greatest baseball player of all time when he has more HRs than Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth, more RBIs than Lou Gehrig and Stan Musical, and the same career batting average as Dom DiMaggio at .298?