Barry Bonds was one of the greatest baseball players on the field during his 22-year playing career, but for various reasons, he hasn't been close to being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
However, speaking to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press, Bonds doesn't seem upset about his lack of inclusion at Cooperstown's museum.
"I don't even justify that. There's no need," Bonds said Thursday. "That's without saying."
It's been an eventful time for Bonds. In July, the United States Department of Justice formally dropped the obstruction of justice charge facing the seven-time National League MVP stemming from his 2003 grand jury testimony about potentially receiving a syringe for self-injection from his trainer.
Bonds told McCauley that having the legal proceedings against him go away was like a "weight lifted" off of his shoulders.
However, he did seem to understand there will always be people who don't like him for various reasons:
I don't mind if people get on me at times, I don't mind that stuff. That's part of the game, that's part of the business. I know now that I'm retired more so than when I was playing.
I think when you're playing and you're giving all you can, you want people to praise you more than being negative toward you. After being away for a while, some people just say you mature a little bit later. Got it after the fact.
Regarding his attitude while playing baseball, Bonds said he "was a little more standoffish or whatever you want to call it" because he was doing necessary prep work for his job.
As far as what the future may hold for Bonds with his legal problems in the rearview mirror, he has a long way to get back in the good graces of the Baseball Writers Association, the gatekeepers of Cooperstown.
He will be entering his fourth year on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2016. The 14-time All-Star has seen varying numbers in his vote totals the previous three years, though he hasn't been close to the required 75 percent:
|Barry Bonds Hall of Fame Votes 2013-15|
Whatever the majority opinion of Bonds' attitude and character may be, there's no denying his talents on the field. He holds MLB records for career home runs (762), single-season home runs (73), walks (2,558) and intentional walks (658), and he's the only player with at least 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases.
Bonds seems comfortable with his legacy as a player and isn't consumed with the Hall of Fame. He's building up his life away from baseball, though it seems wrong to try telling the story of the sport without some mention of him in the Cooperstown museum.
Stats via Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted