Barry made history a few weeks after the 2001 season commenced when he slugged his 500th home run in a game against the Dodgers at Pacific Bell Park. A future Hall of Famer, he became just the 17th player in big league history to reach that milestone. Barry set career highs in home runs (49) and slugging percentage (.688) in 2000, while finishing second to teammate Jeff Kent in the voting for National League MVP. Utilizing a short, yet powerful stroke, Barry hit .306 -- the seventh time he has topped .300 -- and drove in 106 runs to help the Giants win the NL West. One of the game's most selective hitters, he also walked more than 100 times (117) for the eighth time in 10 seasons.
The son of former Giant and longtime Major League outfielder Bobby Bonds, Barry has won eight gold gloves for fielding excellence. He began his Major League career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 before joining the Giants for the '93 campaign. Barry has won Players Choice Awards as Comeback Player of the Year in 1992 and Outstanding Player in 1993. He has also earned three MVP awards -- with Pittsburgh in 1990 and '92 and with San Francisco in '93 -- and will likely complete his career with more than 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases. He began the 2001 season with 471 SBs.
Barry's godfather is the great Willie Mays and Barry has said that he'd like to challenge Mays' career mark of 660 home runs. Like Mays, Barry has been the quintessential "five-tool" player who can win a game in a variety of ways. He was once given an intentional walk with the bases loaded. Talk about respect!
Name: Barry Lamar Bonds
Birthdate: July 24, 1964
1999 Opening Day Age: 34
Birthplace: Riverside, CA
Home: Redwood Shores, CA
Family: Liz (wife) Nikolia (son) Shikari (daughter)
Favroite Number: 25, my dad's old number
Favorite Athlete: Michael Jordan
Favorite Sport to Play(besides baseball): Golf
Favorite Sports to Watch (besides baseball): Basketball and Hockey
Favorite Animal: Dog
Favorite Clothing: Jeans
Career Gaol:"To retire from baseball knowing I've left nothing undone"
M.L. Service: 11 years, 129 days
How Obtained: Signed as a free agent, Dec. 8, 1992.
Contract Status: Signed through 2000 (signed 6-year contract prior to 1993 season and 2-year extension with club option for 2001 prior to 1997 season
Barry Lamar Bonds was born on July 24, 1964, in Riverside, California, where his father Bobby Bonds and current Giants Manager Dusty Baker were also born. His childhood was strongly influenced by several great major league baseball players: his father Bobby was once an All Star, and played for several teams, including the Giants; through his other, he is the cousin of Reggie Jackson, one of the greatest World Series heroes of all time; and his godfather Willie Mays, who is considered to be one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, baseball player ever. Bobby Bonds played for the Giants until Barry was about 10 years old. Barry grew up and around Candlestick Park, the Giants' home field. While the team warmed up for games, Barry got to practice in the outfield. He received plenty of pointers from his father and godfather while out there. Other sports role models Bonds looked up during his childhood included Mickey Mantle, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Tony Dorsett.
When he was a kid, Barry could hit a whiffle ball hard enough to shatter glass. When he started hitting baseballs, no window was safe. He broke so many windows at his house that his mom, Pat, became a regular customer at a nearby glass store.
Barry started his habit of choking up on the bat when he was young. His father used to bring home major league bats for his son to play with. The bats were so big and heavy that Barry had to choke up when he swung. To this very day, Barry still chokes up on the bat.
Bonds attended Serra High School in San Mateo. There, he was a three sport athlete in baseball, football, and basketball. Serra High School's athletic program is one of tradition, producing such athletes as Bonds, Gregg Jefferies, Lynn Swann, and Jim Fregosi. However, despite showing his athleticism and versatility by participating in three sports, baseball was still Barry's true love. In three varsity seasons at Serra, Bonds hit .404, including a .467 average during his senior season as a prep All-American.
After graduating in 1982, Bonds was drafted in the 2nd round of the amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants, who offered him $70,000 out of high school, instead of the $75,000 he wanted. So Bonds chose to attend Arizona State University, where he ended up playing for 3 years for the Sun Devils. There, Bonds compiled a career .347 average with 45 home runs and 175 RBIs while garnering All-Pac-10 selections all 3 years. As a sophomore, Bonds tied an NCAA record with 7 consecutive hits in the College World Series. As a junior in 1985, he was chosen to The Sporting News All-America Team.
While at Arizona State, Bonds played alongside several former and current major leaguers, including pitcher Doug Henry (former Giant), Chris Beasley (former Angel), Mike Devereaux (11 year veteran, most of his time with the Orioles), Shawn Gilbert (former Met), Luis Medina (former Indian), and Don Wakamatsu (6 year veteran, mostly with the Dodgers).
In the June, 1985 amateur draft, Bonds was selected in the 1st round (6th pick overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. There, under manager Jim Leyland, Bonds began to build his superstar career. A promising prospect, Bonds quickly made an impact in the big leagues. In 1986, his rookie season, Barry led all first-year players in home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, and walks.
In 1990, Bonds was named the Major League Player of the Year by the Sporting News, won the Baseball Writers' Association Most Valuable Player award, and also won a Gold Glove. In that 1990 breakout year, Bonds hit 33 home runs, drove in 114 RBIs, batted with a .301 average, and stole 52 bases while leading the Pirates to the National League Eastern Division championship for the first of three consecutive years (1990 until 1992). Pirates manager Jim Leyland said of Bonds that year, "He's coming of age."
In 1991, he narrowly missed the MVP award, losing out to Terry Pendleton, who was later considered a sentimental favorite to win the honor. In 1992, Bonds won his second MVP award in three years.
That year (1992), Bonds was granted free agency as his contract with the Pirates expired, and signed with the San Francisco Giants, returning to the Bay Area in the process. With a lucrative $43.75 million dollar contract for seven years, he made an immediate impact on the Giants organization, showing his intent to earn every penny of his contract. In his first at bat in Candlestick Park in a Giants uniform, Barry homered. He ended up having another MVP year, hitting 46 home runs, driving in 129 RBIs, batting with a .336 average, and stealing 29 bases. He became the first player to lead the league in on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.677) since Mike Schmidt did it in 1981. It was his third MVP award in four seasons, making him the first player in major league history to ever accomplish that feat, and one of only 8 players in history to have three MVPs.
Currently, Bonds owns 7 Gold Glove awards and has appeared in 7 All-Star games (starting in 5 of them). He is only the 4th major leaguer to attain 300 home runs and steal 300 bases, joining Andre Dawson and none other than his childhood role models Willie Mays and his father Bobby Bonds. In 1996, Bonds became only the second player to join the exclusive 40-40 club, hitting 42 home runs and stealing 40 bases, and joining Jose Canseco, who accomplished the feat in 1988. His five 30-30 seasons are matched only by his father Bobby.
When he first joined the major leagues, Barry had a lot to live up to because of his family ties. Many knew him around the league as "Bobby Bonds' son." However, since his first MVP year in 1990, when he became the first player in major league history to hit .300, drive in 100 runs, score 100 runs, hit 30 homers, and steal 50 bases all in one season, Bobby Bonds has become known around the league as "Barry Bonds' dad." However, together, Bobby and Barry Bonds are perhaps the fastest and most powerful father-son tandem in history.
Barry recently signed a new contract extension which keeps him as a member of the Giants through the year 2000, allowing him to play in the new ballpark the Giants are building, Pacific Bell Park.