Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants have repaired their fractured relationship over the past few years, after the home run king’s fall from grace during the steroid era.
Now, the City of San Francisco is going even further and naming a street after Bonds at a new development where Candlestick Park used to be.
Former Giants players — Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and Barry Bonds — also will have streets in their honor. Willie McCovey will have a park named after him. McCovey’s 231 home runs at Candlestick Park were the most by any batter in a stadium infamous for its blustery wind.
Bonds is one of four players on the list, but his inclusion is likely the most controversial. None of the other players mentioned had the contentious relationship with MLB and the Giants that Bonds did. The franchise has welcomed Bonds back in recent years, though it was unclear what it wanted to do about his legacy after he was indicted for perjury, part of the BALCO scandal that struck baseball.
Despite holding MLB records for the most home runs in a season and the most home runs in a career, the steroid cloud has kept Bonds out of the Hall of Fame so far. Still, the Giants have been open to going further for their former star.
The Giants have not reissued Bonds’ No.25 since his final season with the club, and their consistent policy is to retire only the numbers of Hall of Fame players. Could they break that policy for Bonds?
“Could be,” Baer said. “That’s a discussion we’ll be having.”
Bonds is back in San Francisco, and now the city is making sure he’ll be enshrined there permanently. Even if he’s never a Hall of Famer, he’ll always have the recognition he deserves from his city.