Monday, June 17, 2024

Barry Bonds to be inducted into Pirates Hall of Fame this summer: ‘A great moment’

It’s not the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but Barry Bonds will indeed be inducted in a Hall of Fame this summer. On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced Bonds, along with Jim Leyland and Manny Sanguillen, are the 2024 inductees into the team’s Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be Saturday, Aug. 24, at PNC Park.

“As an organization, we are proud to add three significant members to the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame,” Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said in a statement. “Included in this year’s class is a two-time MVP award-winner in Barry, a two-time Manager-of-the-Year award-winner in Jim and a two-time World Series champion with the Pirates in Manny. All three inductees are very deserving of this prestigious recognition. We look forward to celebrating their induction with our fans and sharing their stories with generations to come.”

The Pirates selected Bonds in the first round of the 1985 draft and he reached the big leagues the very next year. In parts of seven seasons with Pittsburgh, Bonds authored a .275/.380/.503 batting line and won two MVP awards (1990 and 1992). He finished second in the MVP voting in 1991. Bonds he helped the team to three straight division titles and National League Championship Series appearances from 1990-92.

“It’s great. That’s where my career started, right? That’s who drafted me. Couldn’t have had a better manager, better team, better starting point for me. It was perfect,” Bonds said in a recorded video. “We built a bond that no way it’s ever going to be broken. To be able to tell my kids that your dad’s gotten into the Pirates Hall of Fame, it’s just a great moment.”

Following the 1992 season, Bonds signed a six-year free-agent contract worth $43.75 million with the San Francisco Giants. It was the largest contract in baseball history at the time. Bonds is ninth on the Pittsburgh’s all-time WAR leaderboard, and also fifth on the home run leaderboard and seventh on the stolen base leaderboard. He hit 176 of his record 762 home runs with the Pirates.

Because of connections to performance-enhancing drugs, Bonds was not voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame during his 10 years on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot. He fell off the ballot in 2022. Bonds also was not voted in by the Hall of Fame’s Contemporary Era Committee in 2022. The committee consists of Hall of Famers, executives, and historians.

Leyland was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Contemporary Era Committee this past winter. He managed the Pirates from 1986-96 and his 851 wins are third on the franchise’s all-time list. Leyland was named Manager of the Year with Pittsburgh in 1990 and 1992.

Sanguillen played 12 seasons with the Pirates from 1967-76 and 1978-80. He was a three-time All-Star with Pittsburgh and was considered one of the best catchers of his era. Sanguillen helped the Pirates win the 1971 and 1979 World Series.

The Pirates began their Hall of Fame with a 19-person inaugural class in 2022. Four others were added in 2023.

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