Barry Bonds is considered by many as the greatest baseball player to ever to play the game, but also as the greatest cheater ever in the game of baseball and that is the reason the 7 time MVP, 14 time All-Star, 8 time Gold Glove winner, 12 time Silver Slugger, and Homer Run King with 762 career home runs, is still on the outside looking in of the Hall of Fame.
Just how great was Bonds?
Well, in the words of Hall of Famer and one of the greatest pitchers of his generation Greg Maddux said that Bonds was the "easiest hitter to pitch to", but it was because if you were in a tough spot you would just walk him.
Maddux said this during a conference more than a year ago, but it rings much louder now with Bonds so close to Cooperstown this year with a projected 73% of ballots voting for him.
Here is the video of Maddux full comment:
"He was like the easiest guy in the world to pitch to, because if it mattered you would just walk him. He was just so much better than all the other hitters in the game that you just got to pick your fights. You have to get 27 outs, you need to know where they are and they are not gonna be with him, so. You go pick on the other eight guys, and see if you know, if you can fight them that way."
And Maddux wasn´t lying.
According to baseball statistician Ryan M. Spaeder, Maddux faced Bonds on 157 occasions in his career and walked a total of 24 times, he did not walk any other batter more than 12 times.
Barry Bonds faced Greg Maddux 157 times in his career, more than any other pitcher, he batted .265/.376/.508, pedestrian by Barry's standards, until you consider the competition. Maddux walked Bonds 24 times, he did not walk any other batter more than 12 times. https://t.co/xVE16NsK9F— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) 1 de enero de 2018
Maddux only had a 4.9% base on balls rate, against bonds it was 15.6%, that is respect.
Barry slashed .265/.376/.508 against "The Professor" in his career.
This at-bat by Bonds in the 2002 NLDS shows just how difficult it was to get to Bonds, miss your spot and it was gone with Barry:
Bonds was such a feared hitter that he was even intentionally walked with the bases loaded, and it worked out for the Diamondbacks.
That has only happened one other time, it was to Josh Hamilton in 2008 when he was an MVP caliber player and of course, it was "out of the box thinker" Joe Maddon who pulled that trigger when he was with the Rays.
What more evidence do Hall of Fame voters need to send Bonds to Cooperstown?
A pitching legend and Hall of Famer is telling you himself that Barry was just on another level.
It's time for Bonds to get the call, and it took to long.