Why Is Barry Bonds Not In The Hall Of Fame?

Former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds speaks at a ceremony to retire his #25 jersey at AT&T Park on August 11, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)


Former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds will enter his final year of eligibility to the MLB Hall of Fame.

He has unsuccessfully appeared on nine voting seasons so far, but hasn’t been able to see his name appear in at least 75 percent of the ballots yet.

That’s the minimum for candidates to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

This year, 13 new candidates will appear on the ballot: Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Rodriguez, Jimmy Rollins, and Mark Teixeira.

Bonds will have one more chance to go through the traditional way.

Bonds is commonly known as the home run king, having hit 762 round-trippers over a 22-year career in MLB.

The moment in which he surpassed Henry Aaron is still in fans’ memory.

So why isn’t he in the National Baseball Hall of Fame?


His Name Is Associated With Steroid Use

The answer is simple: He isn’t in the Hall because he is associated with the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDS) during his playing days.

Bonds was a main actor in the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative) doping scandal.

BALCO was a manufacturer of an undetectable steroid.

Because of that, he ended up going to trial in federal court for perjury and obstruction of justice.

He allegedly lied to a grand jury during the federal government’s investigation of BALCO.

Ultimately, according to Forbes, he was convicted on one obstruction count, but that was later overturned by a federal appeals court.

Voters are aware of the obvious baseball accomplishments, but so far, they haven’t gotten past the links to steroid use.

On the field, there is no denying that Bonds was truly one of a kind, perhaps the greatest baseball player ever to play the game.

In 2,986 games and 12,606 plate appearances, he hit .298/.444/.607, which is basically a dream season for any big-leaguer.

He belted 762 homers, scored 2,227 runs, drove in 1,996, and stole 514 bases.

He is, in fact, the only player in history to have, at least, 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases.


A Career Full Of Accomplishments, But…

He won seven National League MVP awards.

Some of his accolades include 12 Silver Slugger awards, 14 All-Star selections, and eight Gold Glove awards.

Bonds ranks second in career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) among all major league position players by both FanGraphs and, behind Babe Ruth.

Bonds also has the record for most home runs in a single season, with 73, achieved in 2001.

That season, he hit .328/.515/.863, which is basically what you get when you play dynasty mode in your preferred video game and set the competition in “easy”.

If his name hadn’t been around the word “steroids”, Bonds would have been a unanimous Hall of Famer.

However, that’s not the case, and as a result, his case is a bit more complex than others.

He hasn’t been gaining much ground on recent ballots, so his ascent to the Hall of Fame is in doubt.

In 2018, he got 56.4 percent of votes, and it has been only marginally increasing since then: 59.1 percent in 2019, 60.7 percent in 2020, and 61.8 percent in 2021.

We will know in a few months if Bonds was elected or not.

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