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Opinion: Keep Barry Bonds out of baseball Hall of Fame

Barry Bonds is not qualified to join the National Baseball Hall of Fame


Former ASU baseball slugger Barry Bonds smiles in the dugout before an on-field ceremony at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

On Jan. 21, 2020, the next class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be announced. With Barry Bonds on the ballot for his eighth year, it is time to remind voters why Bonds should be left off of roster for the 2020 class and all classes in the future. 

Bonds hit 45 home runs in a three-year career at ASU spanning from 1983-85. It is his Major League Baseball record 762 home runs that are the main reason some believe Bonds deserves to be in Cooperstown.

"This is a question of Barry Bonds being seen as the poster child for that era," Jacob Pomrenke, director of editorial content at the Society for American Baseball Research said. "Letting him in seems to be a statement on the entire era. If the writers put him in I think that will open the flood gates for other players who are also implicated in some of this stuff."

The aspect that people who think he should be in the Hall of Fame overlooks the idea that Bonds is the poster boy for the steroid era. This alone should keep him out of consideration.

The steroid era was a black eye for the MLB. Players, Bonds included, were using steroids to cheat the game in a way that had never been done before. 

“That is one of the last barriers for the steroid era is the players who are implicated in all of that getting enshrined in the Hall of Fame," Pomrenke said. 

Yes, Bonds was a great player before his steroid use became obvious, probably even peaking as a Hall of Fame-caliber player. The idea of someone who cheated the game of baseball and many players fighting for a job in the sport should be an automatic disqualifier for any Hall of Fame case.

Keeping a player of this prestige out is nothing new. Pete Rose, MLB's all-time hits leader is currently banned from baseball and is not a member of the Hall of Fame. Rose was banned for betting on baseball during his time as Cincinnati Reds manager.

Some come with the argument "everyone was doing steroids." That does not mean this sin should be rewarded. Bonds was an all-time great player but so was Rose. This fact cannot and should not overlook that they both contributed to a negative image for baseball.

The potential of Bonds reaching the pinnacle of baseball lore would sour the accomplishment of making ASU tied for second in the country all-time with two Hall of Famers. Putting Bonds in the same conversation as a name like Reggie Jackson, a former ASU baseball player, would be a dark spot on the great history of ASU baseball. 

Putting Barry Bonds into the National Baseball Hall of Fame would be hypocritical and a disgrace. Not because of lack of talent and accomplishment, but because Bonds, like Rose, made a disgrace of himself. 

Reach the columnist at or follow @anc2018 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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