Nine years and a hundred and fifty pounds ago, Barry Bonds retired from the MLB as the all-time homerun leader. Bonds now looks like a shell of his former self, but is as good of a hitter as ever.
This spring training Barry Bonds, as the new Miami Marlins hitting coach, competed in a homerun contest against the current Marlins hitters. Not only did Barry Bonds win the contest, but he made the young players look foolish. This isn’t just a group of nobodies, the Marlins have arguably the best power hitter in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton. This is just another example of Bonds being a natural born freak. But if his talent was so natural, did he need to turn to unnatural substances to become the best hitter in history? Would Bonds have been a Hall of Famer if he didn’t turn to the juice?
It is impossible to tell when Bonds started using performance enhancing drugs, so nobody will ever know what was natural and what effect the drugs had. From 1986-1990, when Bonds was still presumed to be all natural, he averaged 138 hits, 23 homeruns, 34 stolen bases and 67 RBI’s. Though these numbers are a far cry from Bond’s career statistics they are respectable, especially for a young player. If Bonds continued on this path for his entire 22-year career, his career totals would be 3,036 hits, 506 homeruns, 748 stolen bases and 1,474 RBI’s. These statistics are obviously not perfect, but represent the type of player Bonds could have been without steroids.
Going by the completely hypothetical stats laid out, it is clear that Bonds could have not only been a Hall of Famer, but a first ballet Hall of Famer. Bonds was special since his first day on the field and drugs helped, but even without them he had HOF ability. This is not to say that Bonds should be put into The Hall because of a hypothetical situation, but young players should look at Bonds and even Alex Rodriguez as a cautionary tale about how PED’s will ruin your career.
– Michael Hersey