I have been a sports fan all my life. It can be the easiest escape form in dark depressive times. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late turbulent 60's. My earliest memories were of my Dad taking the family to Candlestick Park to see Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Bobby Bonds, Juan Marichal and the rest of the Giants play baseball.
In my high school years it was the Oakland A's who had the baseball team that dominated. Then the Golden State Warriors won a Basketball Championship. From there it was the 49er's and all the Super Bowl hardware they have won. Though I have moved away from the Bay Area and my allegiance to certain sports teams is not as strong, those memories are still dear to me.
I'm by no means a purist of sports. Realizing, that as long as humans are involved, playing a game for money there will always be some shenanigans going on. It's society as a whole; corporate power, media exposure, betting, nothing can take professional sports back to the playground like when you're a little kid. To place professional players on some pedestal and expect all of them to be heroes is...well, unrealistic. They're human, they will let you down. The ballplayers today live under a microscope and if they don't say the right thing to the press, plenty of enemies can be made.
I digress, this post is to congratulate Barry Bonds for breaking the Home Run record. No matter what anyone wants to say, Bonds is a true Hall of Famer. To me it's not a question of whether he took steroids or not. It's his body, his responsibility on what he took or didn't take. One thing, Barry Bonds has never tested positive for steroids, ever. The main thing for me to look at are his statistics and records before the allegations of taking banned substances.
Before the year 2000 and the BALCO scandal, Bonds had already won 3 MVP's, 8 Gold Gloves and was the only man to ever reach 400 steals and 400 homers. He was such a feared hitter that opposing managers would rather walk him than face his bat. In 1998, he became one of only 3 men in baseball history ever to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. He had more walks before the year 2000 than Hank Aaron had in his career. My comment, "just pitch to the man".
He has broken Aaron's Home Run record with 2,500 fewer at bats.
Some say Bonds doesn't deserve to wear a Giant uniform. If anyone deserves to wear the Giant uniform, it's Barry. He was a Giant bat boy, his Dad, Bobby played for the Giants. His Godfather, Willie Mays, the greatest of Giant players in my estimation, played for the Giants. Bonds grew up in the Bay Area, having attended elementary, Jr. High School and High School. He was a first round pick of the Giants right out of High School. Instead, he opted to play ball at Arizona State University. Now don't laugh, his major was Criminology. Upon graduation from Arizona State he became a first round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Say what you will about Barry. He is one of the greatest baseball players of all time and current all-time, Home Run leader.
A few more Barry Bonds records. Go to link for the rest. He is also fast approaching some other hallowed records.
Holds record for most home runs in a career (756)
Holds record for most home runs in a season (73)
Holds record for most walks in a career (2,540)
Holds record for most MVP awards (7) and consecutive MVP awards (4); (1990, 1992-93, 2001-04). Note: the current version of the MVP award has been given since 1931. Prior to that year, the League Awards were only given to a player once (from 1922-1929) and sometimes not at all (from 1915-1921).
Holds record for most pitchers homered off (446)
Holds record for most consecutive games with a walk (18)
Shares record for consecutive plate appearances with a walk (7)
Holds record for consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs (13), 1992-2004
Only player in 400 home run and 400 stolen base club
Only player in 500 home run and 500 stolen base club
One of four players in 40-40 club (40 home runs and 40 stolen bases)
Holds record for most consecutive seasons with .600 slugging percentage or higher (8), 1998-2005