(This was originally published on July 24, 2014. In honor of the Giants retiring Bonds’ #25, all stats have been updated through August 11, 2018. Congratulations, Barry!)
About six months ago, I wrote a piece for Michael Clair’s annual blogathon to raise money for Doctors Without Borders titled “25 Greatest Barry Bonds Facts”. To this day, it remains my favorite thing I’ve written, and it’s a collection of statistical absurdities that I’m very proud of.
Today is Barry Lamar Bonds’ 50th birthday. In honor of this special day, I’ve updated all the statistics in my original list and brought it back here to CFBBQ. As many of you know, we here at the BBQ absolutely love everything that Bonds did for baseball. He is quite clearly the greatest hitter in the history of the game, and still remains remarkably under-appreciated a mere seven years after his final season with the Giants.
I’d like to think I’ve played a tiny, tiny part in the slow progression towards a full-blown mainstream appreciation for the incredible things that Bonds did on the baseball field. There have been sporadic “Barry Bonds Crazy Fun Facts” posts over the years, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Barry’s birthday has already spawned a few more of these wonderful collections earlier today, most notably Tim Marchman’s over at Deadspin.
Certain Bonds facts resonate more with certain people, for whatever reasons. These 25 have remained my favorite, but there is a decent chance I’ll have 25 new favorites by this time next year. The career of Barry Bonds is an infinite gold mine of mind-blowing statistical miracles; there’s a favorite Bonds fact for each and every one of us.
Without further ado, here they are. My 25 favorite Barry Bonds facts.
25. For his career, Barry Bonds was 0-3 with 3 K’s against Rick Ankiel
…and it was all in one game. June 20th, 2000. In his first plate appearance against the then 20-YEAR-OLD Ankiel, Bonds worked Ankiel to a full count before striking out swinging. In his second plate appearance, Ankiel struck him out swinging on three pitches. In his third and final plate appearance against, again, RICK ANKIEL, Barry Bonds struck out looking on three pitches. They would never face each other again. Rick Ankiel is one of two pitchers to have faced Barry Bonds four times or less and strike him out three times. The other one is Bartolo Colon. Bonds also only faced Bartolo for one game; June 12th, 2003 against the White Sox. First AB: strikeout swinging. Second AB: strikeout swinging. Third AB: strikeout swinging. Fourth AB: home run to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning.
24. Craig Biggio drove in 1,175 runs in his 20 year career. Barry Bonds’ home runs alone drove in 1,174 runs.
It’s almost like Barry Bonds hit a lot of home runs or something.
23. 2001-2004 fWAR (FanGraphs’ version of WAR):
- Barry Bonds: 46.6 fWAR
- New York Mets: 46.6 fWAR
- Milwaukee Brewers: 45.3 fWAR
- Kansas City Royals: 31.0 fWAR
- Detroit Tigers: 30.9 fWAR
- Montreal Expos: 30.7 fWAR
2001-2004 was a fun time for Mr. Bonds, and this list makes that very clear. The level at which he was dominating baseball will probably never be seen again. Barry Bonds drew 120 intentional walks in 2004 alone. Speaking of intentional walks…