Even before people accused him of using steroids, Bonds accomplished things on the baseball field that most can only dream of.
Bonds started his career in the National League in 1986, as a member of the Pittsburg Pirates.
His first four years in the League started slow and his numbers were very average for an every-day MLB player.
From then on out, there was nothing average about Bonds career.
Throughout the next 10 years, from 1990-1999, Bonds numbers increased dramatically across the board.
He eclipsed 140 hits and 90 walks 8 out of 10 years. The exceptions were the 1994 and 99 season, in which he only played 112 and 102 games respectively, due to injury. His average on base percentage for those 10 seasons was .432. This means over this 10 year span Bonds got on base over 43% of the time he came to bat. For those of you who dont know baseball, that is a ridiculous percentage. He also exceeded 100 RBIs in all 8 of the years he surpassed 140 hits and 90 walks.
Along with getting on base and topping 100 RBIs on the regular, Bonds could also steal bases and play the field at a high level. From 1990-1999, Bonds stole over 30 bases 6 out of 10 seasons and never committed more than 6 errors in a single season.
Barry Bonds is most-known for his ability to hit home runs. Hitting more than 25 ten out of ten times and more than 40 three times throughout this 10 year period, Bonds was one of the most prolific home run hitters of his time, even before the steroid accusations started to pile up. Although he was very good at it, hitting home runs clearly wasnt his only ability. Bonds should be remembered for his overall ability as a baseball player rather than just hitting home runs.
This becomes most apparent when one views his wide variety of end of season awards.
During this 10 year span Ive been referring to, Bonds finished in the top 5 in MVP voting 7 out of 10 years, winning it 3 times. He won the Gold Glove for his position 8 times, the Silver Slugger 6 times and was elected to the MLB All-Star game 8 times.
Although Bonds career became very confrontational in later years, his numbers during his early years in the league stack up to the likes of Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, and thats saying a lot. Yes he may have done steroids, but even when he wasnt using, Bonds was still an all time great.