In the late 1990s, even suggesting that Barry Bonds would not make the Baseball Hall of Fame would have had you laughed out of any serious baseball discussion. However, life is long, and even the mightiest can witness a fall from grace,
In 2003, Barry Bonds was in the midst of his third consecutive MVP season. Two seasons earlier, the outfielder had hit 73 home runs, a single season record. He had also won the MVP Award five times, the NL batting title four times, and had garnered ten Silver Slugger Awards.
However, things began to shift out of Bonds’ favor in 2003. That year, Greg Anderson of the Bay Area Co-Operative Laboratory (BALCO) was indicted on federal charges. According to the accusations, Anderson had been supplying high-profile MLB players, including Barry Bonds, with anabolic steroids.
“Barry Bonds hits his 73rd home run of the 2001 season” – Baseball in Pics
Things soon began to unravel for the San Francisco Giants superstar. After lying to a jury about his use in 2003, Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice. While Bonds had retired by the time that the charges were brought against him, the shocking revelations permanently marred his name.
Despite being the all-time leader in both home runs and walks (762 and 2,558 respectively) Bonds never gained admittance into the Hall of Fame. Moreover, his single-season home run record of 73 was declared void, and New York Yankees star Aaron Judge’s 62 jacks in 2022 is considered the current record.
Despite the broad consensus that Bonds’ track record nullifies his career achievements, not everyone thinks that his name should have been tarnished to the extent that it has. In a 2022 interview with Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take Podcast, former NFL star Julian Edelman defended Bonds, saying: “What’s up with my guy not getting in?” Edelman, also a native of San Francisco, also declared taht Bonds was “the best baseball player ever before he was on the juice.”
Edelman, a wide receiver who played eleven seasons with the New England Patriots, evidently does not see steroid use, and lying as a disqualifier. For better or for worse, the vast majority of the sports world disagrees with him.
Barry Bonds will have to live with the consequences of his actions
While his steroid use undoubtedly padded his stats, and likely allowed him to reach hitherto-unattainable heights, Bonds was still an unbelievably talented baseball player. Unfortunately, that aspect of his life has faded into the background forever, and Barry Bonds will always be weighed down with the consequences of his actions.