By Shawn Muller–
CHICAGO (CBS) I don’t care if he did or didn’t use steroids or any other type of performance-enhancing drug: Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player of the past 30-plus years…and likely one of the top five players of all-time.
Just take a look at some of his career accomplishments:
-7 MVP Awards (closest player has 3)
-762 Career Home Runs
-Sole Member of the 500/500 Club (HR’s and Stolen Bases)
-8 Gold Glove Awards
-12 Silver Slugger Awards
-14 All-Star Games
I could make a list about a mile long covering Bonds’ accomplishments on the field, but I obviously don’t have the time and, more than likely, it wouldn’t matter anyways.
No matter how hard I try to prove the prowess of Barry Bonds, there are always going to be people that are still going to say, “So what? He was and always will be a cheater. Those accomplishments mean absolutely nothing.”
I am not going to say it is wrong for people to feel this way. We are all entitled to our own opinions, and if you feel that players like Barry Bonds deserve to be “black balled” from the game of baseball, that’s completely fine with me.
But what happens when a villain like Barry Bonds actually makes the news for doing something good?
Is it possible for arguably the most hated man in professional sports since Ty Cobb to redeem himself…even if for just a split second?
Are the haters still going to hate?
Of course they will because when you are as despised as Barry Bonds is, you could cure cancer and people would still find reasons to think of you as a dirt bag.
I, on the other hand, will forever be impressed with his act of kindness towards the family of Bryan Stow.
For those who did not follow this story, Stow was the Giants fan who was savagely beaten outside of Dodgers Stadium on Opening Day, for nothing more than being a Giants fan. He suffered traumatic brain injury from the beating, and has been in an induced coma since the middle of April.
People throughout the country have come forward with donations for the Stow family to help cover some of the cost of Brian’s rising medical bills. Even current Giants ace pitcher, Tim Lincecum, has also helped in the effort by donating $25,000 of his own money to the Bryan Stow Fund.
I am glad to see so many people come to the aid of a fellow man in a time of need…from the “Average Joe” across the street, to Cy Young Award winning pitchers.
But it is the generous act of Barry Bonds that has caught my attention. That’s because he volunteered to pay for college for Stow’s two children.
Now before all of the Bonds “bashers” want to chime in with smarmy remarks…saying that this is just a publicity stunt in light of his current legal issues…don’t go there.
According to Thomas Girardi, the lawyer for the Stow family, “[Bonds] didn’t say anything about it to the press. This was just a gift he gave the family because he knew that it was going to be pretty important to the kids.”
Trial or no trial, Barry Bonds did not have to give the Stow family one cent. If he were trying to gain “brownie points” in the eyes of the public, this would have been all over the news way before the Stows’ lawyer went public with the information.
Even if Barry Bonds never does another positive thing for anyone else for the rest of his life, no one can change the fact that he will have changed the lives of two kids and an entire family forever…and it is one act that I–and many others–would never have the chance to provide for a stranger.
No one can knock a guy–regardless of what you feel his motivations were–for making a difference…so for that…I say: way to go Barry Bonds.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.