We have spent many words debating the issue: he has a good case to be considered the best player to ever step on a baseball field.
On this day, but 19 years ago, Bonds achieved something unique, something that no other player has been able to do, even to this day.
“19 years ago today, Barry Bonds became the first and only player to reach the 500/500 club,” Fox Sports MLB tweeted.
19 years ago today, Barry Bonds became the first and only player to reach the 500/500 club
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 23, 2022
Several players have hit 500 or more homers; while some speedsters have compiled at least 500 steals.
It takes a rare breed of power, speed, and durability to reach 500 of each over an MLB career, though.
Yet Bonds did it, in 2003, while wearing the San Francisco Giants uniform.
Bonds received a standing ovation that day and even took the base in a symbolic moment.
MLB’s Premier Power-Speed Combo
Bonds accumulated numbers that no other player could reach over the course of an impressive MLB career.
He hit 762 home runs and stole 514 bases.
He scored 2,227 runs and drove in 1,996 hitters, too.
His 2,558 walks are awfully impressive, and represents perhaps his best attribute as a player: his batting eye and discipline.
Performance-enhancing drugs or not (he played in an era in which a very high percentage of players used them, because MLB did nothing to prevent it), he was the most feared hitter of his generation, often being on the receiving end of intentional walks.
His power-speed combo is the stuff of legends, and one of the reasons he is widely considered one of the most talented hitters in the history of the game.