Muscle Sport Magazine

Bonds Leads List of Giants OF Invitees

Also-Rans Fill Out Line-Up for 50th Anniversary Celebration to Take Place on Saturday

If he accepts the invitation or not, Barry Bonds is the marquee name out of the players invited to the ceremony this weekend in San Francisco honoring Giants outfielders over their five decades on the left coast. The organization that turned their back on their best player now hold their figurative arms open for him, at least for one night.

No slight towards any of the other players, but without Bonds this is a questionable bunch. Among the invitees, Kevin Mitchell may have won an MVP, but his dominant days were short lived. Jack Clark was a very good player, but not much more than that. Dave Kingman? The ‘all-or-nothing’ slugger played in San Francisco his first four seasons, and then struck out at a remarkable rate for six other teams over 12 more campaigns following his sale to the Mets in 1977.

Mike Felder was a Giant for all of two seasons in the early nineties, Darryl Hamilton less than that. Jeffrey Leonard, while a journeyman throughout his career, at least played for the Giants for five full and two parts of seasons. If this is the best they could muster up, they may as well have skipped the whole thing. You mean they couldn’t convince Max Venable to come on down for the sake of nostalgia?

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Giants vice president for communications Staci Slaughter said, “We invited all the outfielders who played a certain number of games. He (Bonds) definitely was invited.

“We would love for him to come,” Slaughter continued. “He was definitely a big part of this organization.”

An organization that has become irrelevant without the home run king. AT & T Park was abuzz during Bonds’ tenure, regardless if he was under investigation or not. He was the fan favorite for a team that seemed to always be in the news, either it be their National League pennant in 2002; Bonds’ chase to eclipse Babe Ruth’s 714 career home runs and then Hank Aaron’s 755; or the entire BALCO scandal.

Currently, the Giants are 48-65 and are 10 and a half games out of first place in the NL West. If it weren’t for the Padres, the Giants would be holding up the rest of the division. To make matters worse, they are 13 games under .500 at home.

Bonds has yet to respond to the invitation. If he chooses to stay away, he could hardly be blamed. The organization has basically acted as if he never played there and this is the first time they have even acknowledged him by name in quite some time. For his own sake, Bonds should come and hear some much-needed cheers. We also would get a look at him and see what kind of shape he is in, and let’s move on with the charade the Giants have been putting up. Steroids or not, Bonds will always be known as one of the top players in the history of the organization – New York and San Francisco – and possibly more.

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