Willie Mays is going to bat for his godson.
During Barry Bonds’ number retirement ceremony on Saturday at AT&T Park, Mays walked to the podium and finished his speech by requesting the Baseball Writers’ Association of America elect Bonds into Cooperstown.
“Give somebody honor that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Mays said. “The Hall of Fame is a type of fraternity that when you get there you say ‘man, how did I get here?’ And I want him to have that honor and be something (that) happens to him. On behalf of all the people in San Francisco and all over the country, vote this guy in. He is very, very important to me.”
Bonds’ career numbers are beyond Hall of Fame worthy. He is the all-time home run leader in addition to holding the single-season home run record. He’s also a 14-time All-Star, 12-time Silver Slugger, eight-time Gold Glove winner, and racked up seven National League MVP’s over the course of his career. The allegations that Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs are ultimately preventing him from being enshrined.
In six years on the ballot, Bonds has yet to garner the 75 percent of the vote necessary for Cooperstown, though he has been gaining ground in recent years. He earned 56.4 percent of the vote on the 2018 ballot, which represented a 2.6 percent jump from 2017. Bonds received just 36.2 percent of votes his first year.
Bonds, who last played in 2007, is the only player to have his number retired by the Giants to not be in the Hall of Fame.
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