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Bobby Bonds
Career Paths
Marcus' Memoirs

in memory: September 2003



San Francisco Giants 1968-74:  Signed by the Giants on August 4, 1964, just days after the birth of his son Barry, Bobby Bonds made his major league debut on June 25, 1968.  On that day, he became the first and only player to hit a grand slam in his major league debut.

After a solid rookie season, Bonds began to blossom in 1969, leading the NL in runs scored with 120 while belting 32 home runs and stealing 45 bases.  Blending speed and power, he finished second in the NL in runs scored each season from 1970-73, while hitting over 25 home runs and stealing between 26 and 48 bases during that span.  During his tenure as a Giant, Bonds made two All Star appearances (1971 & 73) and won three Gold Gloves (1971, 73, 74).

In 1973 Bonds led the NL in runs scored with 131, and fell just one home run short of becoming the first 40/40 man (39 HR, 43 SB).  The free-swinging outfielder did, however, manage to set one major league record (albeit a dubious one), his 189 strikeouts in 1970 remain the single season mark.

Following a tumultuous 1974 season that included a benching and slight drop in production (.256, 21 HR, 71 RBI, 41 SB), Bonds was dealt to the Yankees for OF Bobby Murcer



New York Yankees 1975:  During Bonds' lone season in New York, he appeared in his final All Star Game while posting a typical Bonds' season: .270, 32 HR, 30 SB.  Despite the strong showing, he was dealt to California for OF Mickey Rivers and P Ed Figueroa in December.



California Angels 1976-77:  After a finger injury limited him to 99 games in 1976, Bonds rebounded with one of his finest seasons in 1977.  He again flirted with the 40/40 plateau that season, belting 37 HR and swiping 41 bases while driving in a career high 115 runs, and scoring 103.

He was dealt again in December, to the White Sox, along with OF Thad Bosley and P Richard Dotson for C Brian Downing, and pitchers Chris Knapp and Dave Frost.



Chicago White Sox 1978:  Bonds' stay in the Windy City lasted just 26 games, as he was dealt to the Texas for OFs Claudell Washington and Rusty Torres on May 16.


Bobby Bonds' page @



Texas Rangers 1978:  Bonds finished the 1978 season in Texas on a high note.  Between the two stops, he hit 31 HR and stole 43 bases.  It was his fifth, and final, 30/30 season.

In keeping with the trend, Bonds was dealt again following the season, this time to Cleveland.  On October 3, the Rangers sent the veteran outfielder along with P Len Barker to the Indians for P Jim Kern and OF Larvell Blanks.



Cleveland Indians 1979:  The journeyman OF enjoyed his last productive season in 1979 with the Tribe.  He posted a solid numbers (.275, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 34 SB), and wanted his contract renegotiated.  The Indians balked, and dealt him to St. Louis in December for OF Jerry Mumphrey and P John Denny.



St. Louis Cardinals 1980:  Donning the number 00, Bonds struggled through the 1980 season, hitting .203 in 86 games.  He was released after the season.



Chicago Cubs 1981:  After beginning the season in the Texas organization, Bonds was sold to the Cubs on June 4, but was unable to resurrect his career.  A hand injury limited him to 163 at bats, and he managed just a .215 average.  He was released again following the season.



Postscript 1982-2003:  The Yankees gave Bonds one last chance in 1982, signing him to a minor league deal on May 18. It lasted just over a month, however, as he was released on June 21 without appearing in a major league game.  All told, Bonds suited up for eight major league teams during his career and was traded six times in deals that included 15 other players.  He hit 332 home runs and stole 461 bases, making him one of only four members of the 300/300 club (Wille Mays, Andre Dawson, Barry Bonds).

Following his career, Bonds stayed close to the game.  He played in the ill-fated Senior League during the late 1980s and served as a coach for the Giants in the 1990s.  Bobby Lee Bonds died of a brain tumor on August 23, 2003 at the age of 57.  His legacy lives on in his son, Barry.


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