Monday, October 7, 2013
Bonds Hits 73
On Oct. 7, 2001, San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds records home run 73 of the season against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dennis Springer.
Barry Bonds would finish the 2001 season with 73 home runs, a new major league record, breaking Mark McGwire’s record of 70 home runs that was set just a few years earlier in 1998. Bonds received the Babe Ruth award in 2001 for leading the MLB in home runs.
Bonds would never reach the plateau of 70 home runs again, but his record still stands today. The 2001 season was the fourth season in which Bonds was named the National League MVP, the first as a San Francisco Giant. The three previous MVP awards came while he was on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 2001 MVP award was also the first of four consecutive MVP awards Bonds would receive while playing for the Giants as he also won the award in 2002, 2003 and 2004. No other player has won four MVP awards, let alone four consecutive MVP awards.
The 2001 season also saw Bonds draw in a few more records besides home runs, including 177 walks, and had .515 on-base percentage, a feat which had not been seen since Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams over forty years earlier. Bonds’ slugging percentage in 2001 was also a major league record, which still stands, as he hit an astounding .863.
Earlier in the 2001 season Bonds had also hit home run 500 putting him in great company, at the time only 16 other players were in the 500 home run club. Since Bonds reached the feat eight other players have reached 500 home runs.
Bonds is not yet a member of the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame but should be in my opinion. Whether or not you believe steroids helped Bonds reach the home run feats, he was still a great player in the batters box or on defense. Bonds won an unprecedented seven MVP awards in his career, four more than the next players on the list, which include Hall of Famers, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, and Mike Schmidt. Two active players also have three MVP awards, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Anaheim Angels first baseman Albert Pujols.
Bonds also holds 17 MLB records including most walks in a season, and a career, and shares a piece of four other records including most seasons (five) with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases, which tied his father Bobby. Barry and Bobby are also the only father and son duo to be in the 30-30 club.