Bonds gets another chance at Hall on Sunday

November 30th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Maria Guardado’s Giants Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Barry Bonds’ eligibility for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot expired in January, but he didn’t have to wait long to get another shot at Cooperstown.

Bonds will be one of eight players who will be considered when the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee meets at the Winter Meetings in San Diego on Sunday. The 16-member electorate appointed by the Hall of Fame’s board of directors will weigh a candidate list that also includes Albert Belle, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling, each of whom made his greatest career impact from 1980 to now.

Players will need to receive at least 12 votes (75 percent) to be elected as part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The results of the voting will be announced on MLB Network on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT.

Seven Hall of Fame players will serve on the election committee: Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell. The panel also features six Major League executives (Paul Beeston, Theo Epstein, Arte Moreno, Kim Ng, Dave St. Peter and Ken Williams) and three media members (Steve Hirdt, LaVelle Neal and Susan Slusser). Each member can vote for a maximum of three candidates. 

The Hall of Fame does not reveal voters’ individual ballots, but Bonds and other candidates who have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs -- chiefly Clemens and Palmeiro -- could once again face a tough road to induction. Bonds drew a personal-best 66 percent of the vote in his 10th and final year on the BBWAA ballot, and he could struggle to receive support from peers like Thomas and Sandberg, who have taken a hard line against players accused of cheating in the past.

While entry into the Hall of Fame has long eluded him, Bonds' career numbers easily place him in the upper echelon of hitters in baseball history. A seven-time National League MVP, 14-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, Bonds holds Major League Baseball’s all-time records for home runs (762) and walks (2,558) and is the only player to hit 500 homers and steal 500 bases. He spent 15 of his 22 seasons with the Giants, hitting .312/.477/.666 with 586 homers over 1,976 games. 

Bonds has at least one current Hall of Famer in his camp: Willie Mays. When the Giants retired Bonds’ No. 25 in 2018, Mays insisted on making his way to the podium to stump for his godson’s election to Cooperstown.

"I'm going to go to the podium, because when I say something, I want everybody to hear," said Mays, the oldest living Hall of Famer at 91. "On behalf of all the people in San Francisco and all over the country, vote this guy in. He is very, very important to me."

It won’t be long until we see if Mays finally gets his wish.