Baseball has never seen a power-hitter with game-changing ability like San Francisco Giants‘ legend Barry Bonds in the modern era. Love him or hate him, everyone tuned in to see what Bonds would do each time he stepped up to the plate. It was like time stood still when the all-time home run king took his turn in the batting order. Nothing else in the world seemed to matter in that moment.
That sentiment reigns most supreme in the minds of Giants’ fans who gleefully witnessed perhaps the best hitter in the history of baseball take his cuts in the City by the Bay. Performance-enhancing drug allegations aside, Bonds was a spectacle. He was an on-the-field reality TV show, but he never produced a championship for the fans that adored him.
The so-called “post-Bonds” era was a depressing segment of time that seemed to drag on forever in San Francisco, much unlike the echoing cheers of “BAA-RRR-YY” that rung around AT&T Park for the better part of a decade. The aftermath of the Bonds-effect left Giants’ fans reeling, especially considering that the healing process started well before Bonds unofficially called it a career. For the record, he never did.
Bonds was a centurion type of player, but he will never be able to dub himself a World Champion. The same can’t be said for 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey, whose arrival in 2010 couldn’t have been scripted in a Hollywood movie. Posey rightfully earned a call-up in May of the Giants’ first championship season in San Francisco. The Giants’ front office brass knew this kid had special talents that couldn’t be ignored. It didn’t matter that the move would automatically qualify the Giants’ new-found franchise player for super-two status. Posey was bound to earn a gigantic payday, regardless.
The Giants’ gritty catcher will likely never have his at-bats simulcast across all major sports networks on the planet. It’s distinctly possible that he’ll never even eclipse the 300-home run marker. He certainly won’t ever steal 500 bases. But it’s definitely possible that he finishes his career with more World Series titles than Bonds ever had sacrifice bunts (4).
Posey won’t put up the gaudy numbers that Bonds was able to throughout his monstrous career. Nobody can compare to the seven-time MVP award winner in that regard. That doesn’t mean that he’s untouchable, though. Any Hall of Fame voter would—without question—tell the common fan boy why.
The most important statistic in the record books cannot be had with one swing of the bat. And, because of that, Posey has what Bonds could never have. Baseball could be classified as the most individual team sport known to mankind. That is where the road diverts. The true glory of a team player is measured by the legacy his team creates in October, while the stat-devoured legend is left with nothing but the faint sound of a chant that used to make time stand still.