The San Francisco Giants slugger and MLB’s career home run leader had a video game-like career in the pros. Seeing him launch a home run into McCovey Cove was merely an expectation. To wow fans, Bonds had to go above and beyond.
Well, he managed to do so on multiple expectations, but perhaps none were as peculiar as an incident in 2002 when Bonds managed a home run against the Florida Marlins with a broken bat.
Barry Bonds’ Broken Bat Home Run
Facing off against a young Josh Beckett, Bonds handled a pitch on the inside part of the plate. And despite shattering his lumber, he still managed to elevate and put into the bleachers.
The broken bat long ball was the 601st home run of Bonds’ career and was a true spectacle for baseball fans.
The look of absolute disbelief Beckett wears on his face after the Bonds hit truly sums this moment up. Arguably the best hitter of all time, Bonds left many pitchers frustrated after his at-bats.
Bonds isn’t the only one to have achieved the rare broken-bat home run.
Bryce Harper managed the feat off New York Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom in 2018. Justin Upton smacked one into the seats with a broken bat for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011, and Miguel Cabrera famously hit one in the World Series as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
Barry Bonds’ MLB Career
Barry Bonds, regardless of public opinion, is one of the greatest players in baseball history.
The Riverside, California native started his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made two National League All-Star Games during his seven-year stead before joining the San Francisco Giants for the first time in 1993.
Bonds cemented himself in Major League Baseball history with the Giants, winning seven National League MVP awards and 12 Silver Slugger awards. He also made 12 more All-Star Games and played in a World Series.
While the Giants eventually lost to the Los Angeles Angels in the 2002 World Series, Bonds hit four home runs and drove in 6 RBI.
The seven-time Most Valuable Player surpassed MLB legends such as Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays en route to becoming the home run king. Bonds’ home run record, which stands at 762 throughout his career, remains unbroken, as does his single-season home run record of 73.
SPN and MLB.com covered Bonds’ home run records extensively as the Giants’ slugger took his place in baseball history.
While some have come close to breaking Bonds’ record, including Cubs’ slugger Sammy Sosa and Cardinals star Mark McGwire, no one has been able to replicate his incredible display. Bonds surpassed McGwire’s mark of 70 single-season home runs in 2001 when he beamed a laser against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Per Baseball-Reference, Bonds had 1,000 more career walks than strikeouts, showcasing his all-around ability as a batter.
Despite his heroics, Bonds’ steroid abuse has left him out of the Hall of Fame, and only time will tell if Bonds ever gets enshrined in Cooperstown as a Hall of Famer.