San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds finally gets his recognition

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 26: Barry Bonds #25 of the San Francisco Giants waves to the crowd in the top of the first inning against the San Diego Padres during a Major League Baseball game on September 26, 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 26: Barry Bonds #25 of the San Francisco Giants waves to the crowd in the top of the first inning against the San Diego Padres during a Major League Baseball game on September 26, 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants celebrate the weekend with the retirement ceremony of one of the best to wear the orange and black in Barry Bonds.

Forever a favorite to the San Francisco Giants faithful, Barry Bonds brought the entertainment game in and game out.

The all-time home run king will have his number 25 retired on Saturday in a special ceremony before the game. He joins 11 other players from the New York and San Francisco Giants to have numbers retired.

Bonds started his career at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. Serra has produced multiple athletes who have gone on to distinguished careers like, Lynn Swann and Tom Brady.

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For opponents, Bonds was a nightmare at the plate. The threat of him going deep was ever present, and opposing pitchers knew he could erupt with a moonshot in an instant.

Bonds may stand alone on top of the home run leaderboard but he also holds the top spot in walks. Giants’ fans did not appreciate intentional walks, hanging rubber chickens at AT&T Park whenever the slugger got a free pass.

His career achievements are remarkable. Bonds has 14 All-Star game appearances, is a seven-time MVP, own eight gold gloves, and 12 silver sluggers — just to name a few. He also holds the single-season home run record with 73.

And it only seemed fitting that auspicious achievement would come against San Francisco’s archrivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But, with all the accomplishments Bonds has achieved, a World Series ring has eluded the left fielder throughout his career. He came close to one in 2002, only to see the Anaheim Angels take the spoils after the Giants blew a series lead, losing in seven games.

A favorite in San Francisco, road venues became hostile territory for Bonds — even more so, when the steroid investigation broke out. Turbulent times were ahead for the Giants in the wake of the scandal, and how Bonds handled the situation.

Spats with the media in regard to his situation became noticeable, as Bonds wanted to focus his attention on the Giants and not his legal issues. In his final years as a Giant, management began turning to a youth movement, while keeping Bonds around to fill seats at the ballpark.

Emotions boiled over on September 26, 2007, Bonds’ last game at home in a Giants uniform. Bonds would go 0-3 against San Diego, his final at-bat being a fly ball that was caught at the warning track.

He would make one last appearance in left-field before Bruce Bochy did a double-switch so Bonds could give one final farewell to the fans that have supported him over the years.

His departure turned out to be a positive for the Giants despite the lean years coming in the post-Bonds era. Not bringing back Bonds for 2008 allowed the Giants to set the wheels in motion under Bochy.

The result became three championships — although the magic appears to have run out since 2014.

After stepping away from the game, Bonds did not make many public appearances for the Giants as the legal process began. In what became a waste of time and money by the government, Bonds was found guilty for obstruction of justice, as prosecutors had no evidence to back their claims.

Eventually, his obstruction of justice charge got dropped, paving the way for Bonds to return to baseball.

Before rejoining the Giants in an advisory role, Bonds was the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins. Even with the knowledge Bonds imparted to their hitters, the Marlins did not fare well at the plate and he was eventually relieved of his duties.

Baseball Hall of Fame voters have been unkind to players linked to using steroids. Bonds has not come near the threshold required to get into Cooperstown.

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Not having Bonds in the Hall of Fame is a shame and the stance taken by MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, is distasteful.

No matter your viewpoint, that Bonds is one of the best to play the game and one of the best hitters to ever step into the batter’s box is undeniable. At this point, voters should not even care about the fact that Bonds never knowingly took steroids.

Despite the controversy and how some may view Bonds, he has given back to the community, especially at his old school, Serra High School.

And he’s finally getting some long overdue recognition.

Bonds’ weekend begins of Friday in the second game of a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team where Bonds first started his big-league career. A unique statuette will be given out to those with a ticket to the special event.

The San Francisco Giants Dugout Store is giving out commemorative patches to patrons who spend $125 before taxes. Unfortunately, heat pressed jerseys cannot have Bonds’ name on the back due to the current licensing agreement with MLB.

The number 25 can be put on which may be a great option considering the names are never on the back of the Giants’ home jerseys anyway.

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In any case, the Giants are finally giving Bonds the recognition he deserves for all of his accomplishments. Forever a Giant, Bonds is one of the greatest to ever wear the orange and black.