Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids


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As a freshman, Barry spent the baseball season on the JV team. Barry batted. At the same time, Bobby's career was winding down to an end. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Meanwhile, Bobby's first team, the Giants, were scouting his son. The club was impressed enough to tab the tennager with its second pick in the draft. Barry, however, had already received a scholarship offer from baseball powerhouse Arizona State, where a distant cousin, Reggie Jackson, had been a star in the s. At the time, this was more than most second-rounders received, though not an outrageous request considering the bloodline involved.

The Giatns were wrong. Displaying his signature stubbornness, Barry dumped San Francisco and decided to attend Arizona State. In Tempe for the Sun Devils, Barry became one of the great players in college history. When the youngster began driving in runs in bunches, he was moved to the top of the order.

PAC lefties gave Barry problems his first year, and he slumped to. He also was suspended for missing a mandatory workout. In 64 games, Barry also hit 11 home runs with 54 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. In the College World Series, he crushed a foot homer. The season saw Barry bat. He made headlines again in the College World Series, hitting safely in seven consecutive trips to the plate. Barry also gained a reputation for being tough on umpires, and occasionally teammates. He prepared for each game very intensely and took it personally when he felt that others were not doing their jobs.

That summer, Barry hoped to be selected for the U. Olympic team. Feeling Barry might upset team chemistry, Dedeaux left him off the squad. Barry joined a second team representing the U. Despite a nasty case of dysentery, he knocked in 16 runs in 11 games and dominated with his blinding speed. During this competition, Barry made an adjustment that would pay off for the next 20 years. In order to keep from getting jammed, he choked up on his bat.

The experiment resulted in a three-run game-winning homer against Japan. Despite a sprained knee, he had a sensational year, finishing with 23 homers, 66 RBIs and a. With nothing left to prove at the collegiate level, he let it be known that he was ready to go pro. Instead, they selected B. Surhoff of North Carolina. But the Pirates, picking sixth, threw a wrench into those plans by choosing Barry first.

Pittsburgh had actually coveted Larkin, but the Cincinnati Reds snatched him at number four. He won Player of the Month honors a few weeks later, after a three-homer game against the Durham Bulls. Barry finished the year hitting. That winter, he went to Venezuela to continue to sharpen his skills. Barry hit. The Pirates were in no hurry to rush their prize prospect—they figured to lose 90 games no matter what Barry did. After 44 games, Barry had a.

The club promoted him at the end of May, stuck him in center field, and batted him leadoff. He went hitless in his first game, with three strikeouts. In games, he led all N. His looping swing, however, left him vulnerable to inside heat, as his. But when enemy hurlers missed in the zone, Barry usually gave the ball a ride. The Pirates added another important piece to their puzzle in July when they swapped pitcher Jose DeLeon for rookie Bobby Bonilla, a switch-hitting utility player who would eventually find a home at third base.

Like Barry, he possessed immense potential but was still learning the league. Pittsburgh fans looked forward to the day when these two hit their stride. Team management felt the same and began making moves to acquire building-block type players. The wheeling and dealing continued during the season, as Johnny Ray was swapped for prospects to open a spot for second baseman Jose Lind.

All the newcomers made solid contributions, while Barry sparkled in his first full year. In their second season under manager Jim Leyland, the Pirates finished just two games under. Pittsburgh took a huge step forward in , playing solid baseball and challenging the New York Mets for supremacy in the N. East before fading down the stretch. Drabek became the staff ace, middle man John Smiley emerged as a steady lefty starter, and Bonilla and Van Slyke both knocked in runs. Barry, still batting leadoff, hit. The Pirates went , instilling high hopes for the future.

That future included moving Barry into the heart of the order, where his developing power could be put to good use. For the time being, however, the Pirates kept him at the top because of his sharp eye and base-stealing skills. Another consideration was his low average with men in scoring position. Too eager in the clutch, Barry forgot the fundamentals and often got himself out.

No one doubted he was on the verge of becoming a major run-producer—he already hit lefties well—but until he settled down in pressure situations, the team felt it best to keep him in the leadoff spot. The one move the Pirates made with Barry in was a position shift to left, with Van Slyke taking over in center. Both players were excellent fielders, but Barry had the inferior arm. The lefty did beautifully in his new position, gunning down 14 runners and becoming the N.

At the plate, Barry had a down year, with just 19 homers and a.

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When their bench failed to pick up the slack, Pittsburgh sank to At 25, they said, he was just entering his prime years. His critics countered by saying he was a clone of his father—a player whose performance never caught up to his potential.


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In their postseason arbitration meeting, the Pirates argued that Barry had taken a step backward instead of developing his talents. The arbitor agreed, and Barry lost his case.

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Pittsburgh also let it be known that Barry could be had for the right price. There were no offers. Everyone in the lineup was healthy again, and a patchwork pitching staff led by Drabek carried the Pirates to the N. East flag. The big story was Barry, who batted in the five-hole behind Bonilla. Spurred on by his arbitration loss, he had a historic year at the plate, becoming the first player ever to hit 30 homers, steal 50 bases, knock in and score runs, and bat. He raised his average a whopping points with runners in scoring position, led the league with a.

Once he reached safely, Barry was a terror. Not only did he swipe 52 bags, he all but eliminated the frequent baserunning boo-boos he had committed as a young player. In the field, he threw out 14 runners for the second year in a row and won his first Gold Glove. With Barry protecting him, Bonilla also had a monster year, leading the club in hits, runs, doubles and RBIs.

Unfortunately, both players failed to hit. The Pirates won the N. East again in , as Smiley returned from a broken hand to win a league-high 20 games. The Bucs got solid performances from all of their regulars, including year-old shortstop Jay Bell, who became the top 2 hitter in baseball. His patience at the plate was beginning to have an effect on the way umpires called balls and strikes on him. In , those calls were almost always made in his favor. His evolution as a hitter was ascending to an important plateau.

Barry failed to hit well for the second time in his playoff career, swinging at bad balls even though the Atlanta hurlers regularly pitched around him. The Pirates held a one game in the series but dropped the final two at home when they failed to score a single run. With the bullpen also excelling, the Pirates had more than enough to claim a third straight N. East title. Barry enjoyed another terrific year, clubbing 34 homers and leading the majors with a.

With no other power hitters in the lineup, he drew a league-high walks. The postseason found the Pirates with a seeming deathlock on the pennant once again. Incredibly, the Braves came back to win—the deciding run scored by Bream, another player the Bucs had allowed to depart as a free agent. For the first time in his playoff career, Barry hit well, reaching base 12 times in 29 plate appearances.

Still, another early exit from the playoffs was a bitter pill to swallow. Instead of brooding through the offseason, Barry stay occupied with the job of settling on a new baseball address. At 28, he was in his physical prime and unquestionably the finest all-around player in baseball.

The task before the Giants in was to supplant the Braves as N. West champs. They made quite a run, staying with Atlanta all year, includig a spine-tingling September surge. Barry was better than advertised, especially down the stretch. In the campaign's final 16 contests, with first place hanging in the balance almost every day, he hit six homers and knocked in 21 runs. On October 1, he slammed a pair of home runs and drove in seven runs to keep the season alive. The battle-tested Braves refused to fold, however, eking out a one-game victory. He led the league with 46 homers, RBIs, a.

He continued to gun down baserunners in the field and swiped the extra bag himself when he was on the basepaths. The season opened with the Giants free of the Braves, who moved to the N. East when baseball realigned both leagues into three divisions. Injuries plagued the Giants all spring and summer, and they struggled to play. Were it not for Williams and Barry on a pace to hit 60 and 50 home runs, respectively , San Francisco would have been in serious trouble. As it was, no one was running way with the West, so the race was still tight. Come August, it didn't matter anyway, as the season was cancelled before the month was out because of labor problems.

Barry finished with 37 homers and a league-best 74 walks. The Giants entered the campaign without much quality pitching and with a host of aging players and journeymen filling out the lineup. The team tried to overcome these shortcomings, but when Williams went out with a broken foot, Barry was left naked. Though pitchers walked him times, he still managed 33 home runs and RBIs, while leading the league in on-base percentage. A dreadful slump in August kept him from having a fourth consecutive. Although the year was a total loss for the Giants, who ended up in the N. West cellar, it was a valuable learning experience for Barry.

The shortened stroke he had developed over the years now enabled him to make minor adjustments on a pitch-by-pitch basis. Barry blossomed as a situational hitter, thinking along with the pitcher and catcher and anticipating when and where he would get a delivery he could handle. More than half of his homers tied the game for San Francisco or gave his club the lead; 13 came in the final three innings.

Barry was still sharp in the field, although he did not win the Gold Glove. After misplaying a line drive in a June game, Barry heard it from the fans, who now expected nothing less than perfection. This time Barry received a standing ovation, which he returned with a big blown kiss. There would be no such warm and fuzzy moments in , as the Giants were dreadful again. Their pitchers got hammered on a regular basis, while six of the seven starting position players missed significant time with injuries. With Barry the only threat in the San Francisco lineup, opposing managers decided not to pitch to him.

In between his free trips to first base, he pounded out 42 home runs, knocked in runs, and scored times. Playing on a loss club and seeing so few good pitches began to wear on Barry's nerves. In turn, his already contemptuous personality seemed to get even worse. Indeed, in a summer game he reached the homer, steal plateau for his career, and then was ejected for mouthing off to an umpire. The Giants retooled in , adding veterans J. Snow, Jeff Kent and Darryl Hamilton to the everyday lineup. Barry had another great year, coming within three steals of joining the club. Barry scored runs, drove home , and walked a league-high times.

What should have been a magical year, however, ended abruptly for the Giants in October when they were swept in the Division Series by the lowly Marlins. The Florida pitchers went right after the slugger and retired him every time it counted. The season also ended in disappointment for San Francisco. On the last day of the year, San Francisco blew a big lead against the Colorado Rockies to finish in a tie with Chicago. The Giants then lost a one-game playoff to the Cubs to bow out of the postseason for a second straight year.

McGwire hit 70, a mind-boggling 33 more than Barry, while Sosa belted Neither player could top Barry down the stretch, however. With the Wild Card on the line, he slugged close to. He also became the first member of the club, won his eighth Gold Glove in nine seasons, and tied an N. Two years earlier, he had tipped the scales at just over pounds. Now he weighed in at an eye-popping He looked like a different person, leading some to wonder whether his new physique was chemically enhanced. Those who knew Bonds defended him. For years, he had been putting himself through a fanatical offseason workout routine.

This, they said, explained why Barry always seemed to excel in the dog days of the summer, and why he had been on the DL only once in his life. Alas, his well-muscled frame could not save him from a second trip to the injury list in Barry missed two months during the season due to bone spurs and tendon damage in his right wrist. When he returned, he hurt his knee, an injury that required offseason surgery. When Barry was in the lineup, he was his usual devastating self. For the year, he hit 34 home runs—about one every 10 at-bats. The campaign found Barry healthy and happy with his new surroundings.

He was surrounded by a lineup of professional hitters, including Kent and Ellis Burks. No fewer than nine Giants homered in double figures during the year. Robb Nen, who had taken over closing duties, became one of the best firemen in the game.

During the regular season, the club outdistanced the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks for the N. West title. After winning the opener of the Division Series against the Wild Card Mets, the Giants dropped a pair of one run games to fall behind in the best-of-five series. The second loss was particularly galling, as Barry was called out at a critical moment on a pitch from John Franco that appeared to be inside. The snakebit Giants were eliminated again. Barry was now He had not been to the World Series, and to many it seemed that time was running out—even though the facts suggested otherwise.

In , Barry achieved career highs with 49 home runs and a. The injury probably cost him the MVP, which went to teammate Kent by a narrow margin.

Baseball has held Barry Bonds at bay for six years and counting. | Sports on Earth

The second baseman had actually blasted Barry in a Sports Illustrated article that summer for his lack of team spirit. When reporters pressed Barry for a reaction, he offered a dig at the media, an insult that might have swung a few votes away from him. Barry buckled down in , the final year of his long-term deal with the Giants. Barry became more finicky at the plate than ever. As the year wore on, the homers and walks began piling up in astonishing numbers. Barry was well into the 60s when the September 11 terror attacks interrupted the season. IMDb More.

Edit Barry Bonds. Showing all 66 items. Baseball great Bobby Bonds is Barry's father. He is the only major leauguer to reach the feat of home runs and steals. Has played on 5 Division championship teams, 90, 91 and 92 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and 97, , and with the San Fransisco Giants. As of May is one of eight players to hit career home runs. Soon to be joined by Albert Pujols. Other alumni are Tom Brady and Greg Gutfeld.

He is the only major leaguer to reach the feat of home runs and steals. Recently passed godfather Willie Mays in the number of career home runs. In , became the third player to reach career home runs, joining Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. On August 7, , became the all-time career home run record holder when he hit his th home run of his career off Mike Bacsik at p. PT during the bottom of the fifth inning in San Francisco.

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Mike Bacsik became the th pitcher to give up one or more home runs to Bonds. The previous record was home runs which was previously held by Henry Aaron. When the Giants signed Barry Zito before the season, not only was Bonds no longer the highest paid player on the Giants, he was no longer the highest paid player on the Giants named "Barry". When asked about steroid allegations "All of you lied. All of you have said something wrong. All of you have dirt. All of you. When your closet's clean, then come clean somebody else's. But clean yours first, okay. I think some of the pressure comes from the expectations of other people.

Like if your father played baseball, they expect you to be the big lifesaver or something when you play a sport. Young players need to know how to take care of themselves for life after baseball. Making the Hall of Fame, would it be something that's gratifying because of what I've sacrificed? Baseball has been a big part of our lives. We've sacrificed our bodies. It's the way we made our living. It's called talent. I just have it.

I can't explain it. You either have it or you don't. Every pitcher can beat you, it doesn't matter how good you are. I could learn how to press 'Record' on a tape recorder and write for a newspaper or a magazine. I'm a very private person. My life story isn't for everybody. I'd like to help educate kids about the Major Leagues - what to anticipate, what to expect, what they'll need to do to prepare themselves.

Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids
Barry Bonds - A Short Biography for Kids

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