SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds, baseball's all-time home run leader whose impact upon the Giants transcended statistics, will be honored with a spot on the club's Wall of Fame on July 8.Bonds, who had 762 home runs when his career ended following the 2007 season, will become the 49th player
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds, baseball's all-time home run leader whose impact upon the Giants transcended statistics, will be honored with a spot on the club's Wall of Fame on July 8.
Bonds, who had 762 home runs when his career ended following the 2007 season, will become the 49th player to be immortalized with a plaque on AT&T Park's brick King Street wall. Those who receive this distinction must have performed for the San Francisco Giants for at least nine seasons, or for five years with at least one All-Star selection.
Bonds, 52, rejoined the organization in March when he was named special advisor to club president and chief executive officer Larry Baer. Possibly the most productive player obtained through free agency in professional sports history, Bonds signed with the Giants in the 1992-93 offseason and spent his final 15 seasons with them after beginning his Major League career with Pittsburgh.
Acquiring Bonds, which occurred after a group led by Peter Magowan purchased the franchise and prevented it from moving to Tampa-St. Petersburg, demonstrated that the new ownership was serious about upgrading the organization.
The combination of the energy sustained by the new ownership and Bonds' Most Valuable Player-level skills "really did revitalize interest in baseball," Magowan said.
With San Francisco, Bonds hit .312 with 586 home runs and 1,440 RBIs in 1,976 games. During the franchise's West Coast era, which began in 1958, he ranks among the top 10 in batting average (first), games (third), at-bats (third, 6,263), runs (first, 1,555), hits (third, 1,951), doubles (first, 381), triples (fourth, 41), home runs (first), RBIs (first), stolen bases (first, 263) and walks (first, 1,947).
In Bonds' 22 big league seasons, he won seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards and eight Gold Glove Awards, and he was a 14-time All-Star. He's the only player ever to exceed 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases.
"I think he was the greatest player I may have ever seen, short of Willie Mays," Magowan said.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.