Barry Bonds is the greatest player of all time; put him in the Hall of Fame 

Before roids, he is the GOAT; after roids, he is still the GOAT 



Barry Bonds put up the numbers to be considered the best player in baseball history, but his past controversy has kept him out of the baseball Hall of Fame.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

The greatest baseball player to ever step on the field for an MLB team is not in the Hall of Fame but why?

Well, the answer is simple and straightforward: Barry Bonds allegedly took steroids. It is all but proven that he had, but he will probably never fully admit to doing it voluntarily. 

His candidacy was a point of contention for the entirety of his time on the ballot. While the baseball writers responsible for deciding who makes the cut chose not to allow his induction, many fans see it differently.

Polling 62 students on WSU’s Pullman campus, the overwhelming majority believe Bonds should be a Hall of Fame for various reasons. Forty-four voted in favor of his induction, with 18 thinking there was no excuse and no reason for his induction based on his steroid usage. 

While he is known for his time with the San Francisco Giants, the height of his playing career and steroid usage, however, he started his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played there for seven seasons before moving on to San Francisco. 

Bonds was roid-free for his entire Pittsburgh tenure and even the first five seasons with the Giants. However, going into the 1998 season and his 33-year-old season, he roided up and was ready to break records. 

Despite his reputation as a user of steroids, a banned substance in the MLB, Bonds is and should be a Hall of Fame. There are two main reasons that he should get a bid into Cooperstown: his pre-roid Hall of Fame career and that he should be enshrined even with the knowledge he took the banned substance. 

Starting with the more contested point that although he took steroids, he should be enshrined; as the MLB Hall of Fame is meant to commemorate the best that baseball has to offer and to try to erase and ignore the steroid era as it is deemed, is trying to look past the history of the league. 

While it is true that not every player was taking the needle, it was estimated that more than half of the league was, according to Baseball-Reference. 

The MLB should embrace that fact and enshrine the players who performed at an elite level and in the case of Bonds, the most incredible level ever seen. 

In his most notable season, 2001, he shattered the home-run record with 73 home runs in a season with an On-Base Plus Slugging over 1.300 and in an 11.9 wins-above-replacement season. It was one of the best offensive seasons and he did it at 36. 

It is also not like the Hall of Fame is without its own controversy. Not only does it hold some horrible people like the racist Ty Cobb, who was also charged with attempted murder. It is also not just bad people, but other cheaters, including David Ortiz, who took steroids; Gaylord Perry, who used foreign substances on the baseball field and Bud Selig, who was the commissioner of the steroid era. 

It can be argued that this should still not matter and cheaters should be barred from getting a bronze plaque. But Bonds has another reason that he should be inducted; he also had a Hall of Fame caliber career before he took steroids. 

From his rookie year in 1986 through the 1997 season, he was still on pace to become the best player in history as he tallied 91.8 WAR over the 12 years. 

He was a seven-time All-Star, three-time MVP, seven-time Silver Slugger and seven-time Gold Glover. Not only was he one of the best hitters in the league, but even one of the best fielders in the league.

His triple slash was .288/.408/.551 for an OPS of .959 and OPS+ of 162. Over just 12 years he had amazing counting stats with 1750 hits, 374 home runs, 1094 RBI and even stole 417 bases. Being a nearly 400-400 home runs-stolen bases player put Bonds in elite company and his elite glove made him the greatest five-tool player ever to lace up the cleats. 

Splitting up his career into two separate careers, pre and post-steroid, he would have two Hall of Fame-caliber careers. 

Without thinking of the extraneous circumstances of the player, the single-season and career home-run king with 73 and 762, respectively, just below 3,000 hits with 2,935, a career OPS of 1.051 and OPS+ of 182 are all HOF numbers. 

As for accolades, he was a 14-time All-Star and seven-time MVP, record-setting accomplishments in their own right. 

Before and after taking steroids, he was the greatest of all time and it is frankly embarrassing that the league does not acknowledge his accomplishments and impact on the game.