Legendary slugger Barry Bonds has been denied a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame thus far due to connections to performance-enhancing drugs, but the all-time home run king has no doubt that he belongs in the hallowed halls in Cooperstown, New York.
When asked about his Hall of Fame prospects by TSN (h/t CSNMidAtlantic.com) Saturday, the 51-year-old former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants superstar made it clear that he believes he is deserving of the honor:
I don't really have an opinion about it. I know that I'm a Hall of Fame player. I don't really need to get into that. I'll leave that to you guys to make that determination. That's not my fraternity. But in my fraternity, in Major League Baseball, there's not one player that can sit there and say that I'm not one. There's not a coach that's ever coached me that says I'm not one. Until you guys decide to make that final decision then that final decision will be made on your terms. But in my heart and soul, and God knows I'm a Hall of Famer.
The seven-time National League MVP has more career home runs (762) and home runs in a single season (73) than any player in MLB history, but he received just 44.3 percent of the 2016 Hall of Fame vote, per Baseball-Reference.com.
While the PED stigma attached to the 14-time All Star may keep him out of the Hall for many years to come—if not forever—he has found a new calling as the Miami Marlins hitting coach.
Bonds is excited about the opportunity, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, and New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez believes the man he is chasing for the all-time home run crown could be fantastic in that role:
He's going to be great and do wonders for that team. And can you imagine him working with (Giancarlo) Stanton. If you think about that combination, that's as good as it gets, right?
Stanton's talent, his work ethic, his passion for the game, and now having one of the greatest minds alive working with together with him (sic).
This has the potential to be monumental. Credit to (Marlins owner) Jeffrey Loria to have that vision to put that combination together.
Excelling as a hitting coach is something that could potentially help Bonds' Hall of Fame candidacy moving forward, although it hasn't worked for Mark McGwire during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Statistically speaking, though, it can be argued that no player in the history of baseball has a more impressive resume than Bonds.
Visitors to Cooperstown may never get an opportunity to see that for themselves, but Bonds certainly seems comfortable with his status regardless of what the voters ultimately decide.
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