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Giants give Barry Bonds due credit, retire No. 25

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Former San Francisco Giant star Barry Bonds is all smiles after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to a standing ovation prior to action against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the NLCS in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. (Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/TNS)

He may not be heading to Cooperstown any time soon, but the San Francisco Giants are making sure Barry Bonds earns his due enshrinement. On Saturday, Aug. 11, the team will retire No. 25 before it plays the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT&T Park. 

It’s another example of the Giants showing love for one of the greatest players to ever do it while the Baseball Hall of Fame delays Bonds’ admission.

“No other Giants player has worn number 25 since Barry’s final season.  It’s time to officially retire his number in honor of his remarkable 22-year career as one of the greatest players of all time and for his countless achievements and contributions as a Giant,” CEO Larry Baer said in a news release.  “Barry grew up with the Giants and followed in the footsteps of his Godfather Willie Mays and another Giant legend who also wore number 25 — his late father,  Bobby.  By officially retiring number 25, we will not only pay tribute to Barry as the greatest player of his generation, but also honor the legacy of two of the greatest players to ever wear a Giants uniform.”

Bonds joins Orlando Cepeda (30), Juan Marichal (27), Willie Mays (24), Willie McCovey (44), Gaylord Perry (36) to have his number retired from the San Francisco era of the franchise. Bill Terry (3), Mell Ott (4), Carl Hubbell (11), Monte Irvin (20), Christy Mathewson (no number) and John McGraw (no number) earned the distinction from the New York days.

“I’m both honored and humbled that the Giants are going to retire my number this season,” Bonds said  in a news release. “As I’ve always said, the Giants and Giants fans, are a part of my family. Growing up, Candlestick Park was my home away from home, and it is where my dad and godfather Willie played.  For me to have played on the same field as them, wear the same uniform and now have my number retired, joining Willie and the other Giants legends is extremely special.  Number 25 has meant a lot to me throughout my career and it is even more special that I got to share that with my dad.”

Despite his grating persona to the media — which may be costing him a spot in the Hall of Fame — Bonds is the greatest hitter of the modern era. 

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Bonds has the second-most Wins Above Replacement in the history of the game (162.4), trailing just Babe Ruth (163.1). He owns the San Francisco record for batting average, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI, stolen bases and walks. He won seven NL MVP awards over his career, including eight Gold Glove awards. He also has two batting titles and owns the record for most home runs and walks in the history of baseball.

He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates before the Giants signed him as a free agent in 1992, changing the fate of the franchise forever.


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