Willie Mays is one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history. He won two National League Most Valuable Player awards. He hit 660 home runs – third most when he retired and currently fifth all-time. He won a record-tying 12 Gold Glove awards, and could have won more but the award didn’t exist until his seventh season. In 1999, he was voted second on The Sporting News’s list of the 100 greatest baseball players. And he shares the record for most All-Star Games played in with 24. TWENTY-FOUR!
So he knows a thing or two about baseball.
Barry Bonds won seven National League MVP awards. He was selected to 14 All-Star teams. He holds the records for most career home runs (762), most home runs in a season (73), most career walks (2,558), and most intentional walks (688). He also won eight Gold Gloves and is the only member of the 500–500 club (500+ home runs and 500+ stolen bases). No one else is even in the 400-400 club. In 2018, in his sixth year of eligiblity, he was NOT elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, earning just 53.8% of the vote, well below the 75% needed to be enshrined. And we all know why.
This past Saturday, August 11th, the San Francisco Giants retired Bonds’ number 25. Giants legend Mays, speaking during the ceremony at AT&T Park, implored Hall of Fame voters to induct the man he calls “his little son.”
“Give somebody honor that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Mays told the crowd. “When you get there you’ll say ‘Man, how did I get here?’ And I want him to have that honor.”
“On behalf of all of the people in San Francisco and the country, vote this guy in,” Mays begged.
Oh yeah, Mays is also Bonds’s godfather. So he might be a little bit biased.
That being said, Barry did have a hell of a career. But was it Hall of Fame worthy, knowing what we know? What do you think?