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The Controversy: We all know the story by now. Bonds was the most exciting player in baseball throughout the early part of the 21st century until some of his 762 career moonshots started raising eyebrows. How did this skinny kid from Pittsburgh (where he spent the first seven years of his career) become the home run king?
Enter Greg Anderson, a personal strength trainer who had worked with Bonds since 2000. His employer was none other than BALCO, a Bay Area facility that was notorious for supplying athletes with anabolic steroids.
Though Bonds to this day has never admitting to cheating, countless players, coaches and trainers have provided evidence that suggests otherwise. Maybe he didn't know what he was being injected with. Maybe he didn't want to know. But the reality is that the Bonds we know today is not just a product of good old-fashioned hard work.
The Numbers: Even if there's an asterisk to his name, Bonds' name is still plastered all over the baseball record books. You know about the home runs, but did you also that he's the all-time leader in walks with 2,558 over the course of his career? He's sixth all-time in both on-base percentage (.444) and slugging percentage (.607), and fell just short of 3,000 hits (2,935) and 2,000 RBI's (1,996).
The most impressive part? He's 33rd all-time in stolen bases with 514, a testament to just how great of a player he was early in his career. In fact, he's the only player in baseball history with 500 home runs and steals, and one of only four players ever to achieve a 40-40 in a single season (Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano are the others).
Although Bonds never did win a championship, he still has more than his share of awards on his mantelpiece. He was named the NL MVP an MLB-record seven times (the next closest is guys like Joe DiMaggio with three). His impact on baseball will never be forgotten whether or not he ever makes it into the Hall of Fame. The only sad part is he would've been one of the 10 best players ever without steroids, rather than the best player ever with them.
The Hall: First-time eligibility in 2013.