Thanks to an overwhelming amount of requests (actually just one: from my good friend Jamie Davies) it’s time take a quick glance at the 1992 season of Barry Bonds. Just to note: this isn’t to put the guy on trial for what he did or didn’t do. What really interests me is how good he was before getting really really massive. His last season in Pittsburgh was in ’92, and he had a beast of a season for a 96-win Pirate club.
Bonds 1992: In only 140 ballgames Bonds hit .311 with 36 doubles, 39 steals, 127 walks, 34 HR’s, drove in 103 runs, his on-base % was .456 (100 points higher than any other Pirate) while striking out just 69 times. Oh and he won a Gold Glove. And an MVP. That’s basically dominating every facet of the game. All before getting massive, and dominating with a lean physique. The guy was likely on his way to Cooperstown before 1998 happened.
What happened in 1998?
Bonds was having another year like the one above, but no one was really paying any attention because of the McGwire/Sosa home run chase. Ken Burns majestic “Baseball: The 10th Inning” addresses this topic and states that Bonds was raged and jealous over Sosa/McGwire and this eventually led him to have the feelings of: “Oh, yeah? You think that’s great? Watch this!”