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Monday, June 17, 2024

Barry Bonds to become newest member of Pirates Hall of Fame

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The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader, will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame this summer.

The move comes after Bonds fell off the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, New York, due to his association with performance-enhancing drugs during the latter part of his career.

Bonds, who began his career with the Pirates in 1986, spent seven seasons with the team, accumulating two National League MVP awards and cementing himself as one of the league’s premier players. Bonds’ tenure with the Pirates was marked by athleticism, speed and a powerful hitting ability that foreshadowed the home run records he would later set.

“Pittsburgh is where my career started. That’s who drafted me, and I couldn’t have had a better manager, a better team and a better starting point for me. It was perfect,” Bonds said in a video released by the Pirates.

The induction ceremony, slated for Aug. 24 at PNC Park, is likely to be an extravaganza of Bonds’ noteworthy contributions.

During his time in Pittsburgh, Bonds amassed a .275 batting average, 176 home runs and 553 RBIs while stealing 251 bases, per ESPN.

Despite his prowess, Bonds’ legacy is not without complications. His later career with the San Francisco Giants was tarnished by allegations of steroid use, creating a divide among baseball fans, analysts and MLB players. Some argue that his triumphs should be celebrated, while others believe they are contaminated by his association with performance-enhancing substances.

In spite of the racket, Bonds’ induction into the Pirates Hall of Fame is a testament to his effect on the team and the sport of baseball. His performances on the field captivated fans, ultimately making him a household name.

More: Razor Shines gets jersey retired

Barry Bonds who won two of his seven MVP awards while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, attends opening day pre-game ceremonies at PNC Park to present Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen with his MVP award, before the opening day baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh Monday, March 31, 2014. The Pirates won 1-0 in ten innings. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Pirates organization acknowledged the complicatedness surrounding Bonds’ career but chose to focus on his accolades.

“As an organization, we are proud to add three significant members to the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame. Included in this year’s class is a two-time MVP award-winner in Barry (Bonds) … All three inductees are very deserving of this prestigious recognition. We look forward to celebrating their induction with our fans and sharing their stories with generations to come.” Pirates chair Bob Nutting said.

Also this summer is the jersey retirement of Indianapolis Indians fan favorite Razor Shines. A man who spent most of his career with the Indians, Shines, now the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, was integral to the team’s championship run during the 1980s.

Bonds’ induction into the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame celebrates his remarkable talent and effect on the team. While his career is not without controversy, his achievements in Pittsburgh cannot be denied.

“My career started in Pittsburgh, and it will forever have a special place in my heart,” Bonds said.


Contact multi-media & senior sports reporter Noral Parham at 317-762-7846. Follow him on X @3Noral. For more news courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, visit our homepage.

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