Dusty Baker, Giants manager
"He's getting more and more ready, especially when you see him hit the ball
to left field this early," Baker said after Bonds hit his sixth and seventh
homers of the spring March 22nd against the Cubs. "When he hits the ball to
his pull field, that's one thing. When you see him hit one to the opposite
field, that's big," he elaborated to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Most times, when you talk about an intelligent player, you're talking
about a guy who doesn't play too good. Here's a guy who I equate to Michael
Jordan or Mario Lemieux,'' Baker confessed to the Houston Chronicle.
"You can't ever wonder what he'll give you on the field. He plays all out,
no matter what else is going on," the manager explained to the Denver Rocky
"Barry has his moods. Who doesn't? His are just usually under a
microscope," Baker stressed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"As long as Barry continues to love the game, he'll be great. I believe as
most guys get older, it's not the body, it's if you continue to love the game
the same. I do believe he loves the game."
Former Pittsburgh teammate Jay Bell
He's not going to get out of his game plan, and he's going to hit the ball hard.
You don't want to mess around," Bell said to the Arizona Republic during
2000 Spring Training.
Bobby Bonds, Barry's father
"I know exactly what my son's gone through, because I went through the same
damn thing myself. They said I was supposed to be the next Willie Mays. When
they told me that, it was an honor. You're talking about the guy I consider the
greatest player to ever wear shoes. I probably had more success than anyone they
ever put the Mays label on. You show me another guy who's going to go 30-30 five
times. I sure hadn't met him until my son did it. But all the writers kept
talking about was my 'potential'...'You haven't reached your potential,' they
would say. Well, unless you (writers) win a Pulitzer Prize, you haven't reached
your potential, either!"
"Whenever we talk on the phone, Barry knows I've been there. I've stood 60
feet, 6 inches, from Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale. There's no situation that
comes up for Barry that I haven't gone through myself."
Angel Figueroa, a longtime Pirates scout
"He was very aggressive and took advantage of his running speed. He got on
base and stole at will. He was a guy who you were always waiting for him to jump
out and bite you and do exciting things and give you goose bumps," the
scout added in comments appearing in a Bonds biography published by Chelsea
House and written by Carrie Muskat.
ASU teammate Mike Devereaux
"Barry did things that were amazing. He would hit a ball with topspin over
the fence that would be incredible. A ball that would usually drop in front of
the outfielder, but instead his went over the fences," Devereaux explained
in comments appearing in a Bonds biography published by Chelsea House and
written by Carrie Muskatt.
"Barry was a young guy trying to get to the big leagues," said Farmer,
who pitched on Barry's class AAA Hawaii club in the Pacific Coast League.
"The difference was, you knew this guy was going to make it. He had
talent," Farmer insisted in comments appearing in a Bonds biography written
by Carrie Muskat.
Tommy Sandt, who managed the Hawaii Islanders in 1986
"It was like 'Wow, this is a big league player.' Put him in the lineup
every day, that's all I had to do," Sandt admitted in a Bonds biography
published by Chelsea House and written by Carrie Muskat.
ASU coach Jim Brock
"Barry Bonds is clearly the most talented athlete I have had the pleasure
to coach. We all knew he would do well in professional baseball, but how could
anyone dream that his accomplishments would be this great this quickly,"
Brock said to the Arizona Republic in 1993.
"He doesn't trust a lot of people. He's always wondering, 'What does this
guy really want?' I always found him likable and totally sincere. A lot of kids
with a famous dad or uncle are uncoachable, but not Barry. He may have missed a
curfew or two, but I never questioned his sincerity," Brock added in the
Giants owner Peter Magowan, in Barry's first season in San Francisco
"Where Barry has truly affected the entire team is the way he has fun just
practicing the game. He truly loves to play. And his defense is contagious. In
one game, he made a game-saving catch and cut three sure doubles off at the line
and held them to singles; in a couple of cases, his plays saved what would have
been runs. He's made everyone in the field more aggressive. Defense is the most
contagious aspect of baseball, and Barry has dramatically affected the way the
Giants play the game," Magowan stated in a quote printed in the Boston
Jeff Brantley, in 1993 shortly after Barry began playing with the Giants
"If you ask me, he's a bargain. I know they paid him a lot of money, and
everyone expects wonders. But after watching him play, we got a bargain. He can
pretty much do it all. His baseball instincts are unbelievable. And he's not
just trying to get a hit, he's trying to crush the ball. If you make a bad
pitch, he'll hit a home run and he'll embarrass you. If Barry hits a pop fly to
the infield, he won't run a full-out sprint to second base. No one will. But if
he hits a shot to left and the outfielder doesn't come in and field it cleanly,
he'll be at second base. We got a bargain," the former teammate expressed
in a quote printed in the Boston Globe.
Mike Shannon, a former St. Louis third baseman Cardinals broadcaster
"He attacks the ball just the same way his dad did. It's got to be tough
playing under the shadow of his dad. But he doesn't let it bother him. He's got
a lot of guts just to be out there," the ex-player stated in comments
appearing in the St. Petersburg Times.
Barry's high school coach, Dave Stevens
"Barry was a very easy young man to coach. An extremely hard worker. The
year he hit .467, I remember if anyone was on base for us, teams would just walk
him! I coached a lot of fine kids; I had 15 kids sign major league contracts in
my eight years at Serra. I never had any problems with Barry. When you give
Barry his space, you couldn't be around a nicer kid," the coach explained
to the San Francisco Chronicle.
High school teammates
"The guy was bad (as in good). His outfield play, though, was what
surprised me. You could tell he really worked at it," claimed Ray McDonald
to the San Francisco Chronicle. "In our senior year I actually out hit
Barry. He hit .453 (for the regular season) -- that's what it says on the stats
from the WCAL (West Catholic Athletic League). I was .481. I carry it around on
a little card in my wallet. It doesn't make me any money, but it's a great
"Barry could have done anything he wanted; he's a great athlete,'' added
Dave Canziani, the team's first baseman.
"I think being back in comfortable surroundings in the Bay Area has made it
easier for him . . . I think everything's fallen into place," explained Bob
McKercher, the team's shortstop.
'I played baseball with Barry from the time we were 10 years old. Basketball,
too," claimed Mike Roza, a Serra High pitcher. "I knew he was going to
be a superstar. You just knew it. He and Gregg Jefferies (now with the St. Louis
Cardinals) were kind of rivals, and I asked Gregg recently who was the best
player in baseball. He said 'Barry Bonds.' For him to say that really means
''Barry's a hell of a player. It's great to see him doing so well,"
professed Greg Vella, who played right field for the Serra Padres.
Ken Griffey Jr.
"Barry took me out to dinner when I was 17. I think it was his rookie year.
We just talked family. We don't talk much baseball. Just like now. I'll call him
a few times in the offseason, sometimes write him letters. Family's always the
main topic. But I do get on him about his golf game."
Chuck LaMar, former Pirates' director of minor league operations
"Barry is one of the best hitters around," Lamar insisted to The
Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
"We've told him, 'Man, you've just got to loosen up. You've got to relax
and be yourself. Let them see what you're all about.' I said, �Here's an
opportunity for you to let these people get close, but will you do that? No!'
And he said, 'You're right, I won't.'
I know what's going on up there in his head, and I can be a little more
sympathetic than most people. I still say he's the best player in our league, no
"He's the one guy in our league I would pay to watch."
"Barry Bonds is the best player I've ever seen. He can be pitched to, but
Former Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland
"Most guys who talk about what they're going to do, they usually set
themselves up to get humbled," Leyland explained in a Bond biography
written by Carrie Muskat. "Barry Bonds was like Joe Namath or Muhammad Ali.
He could make a statement and go out and back it up. Not a lot of guys can do
that. In fact, managers usually cringe when guys make statements about what
they're going to do. In Barry's case, I liked it. I think he did it on purpose
to motivate himself. In a lot of ways, it's easy for Barry. I think he needs a
little controversy around him."