Barry Bonds will once again be a fixture at AT&T Park. (Courtesy Art Siegel/Flickr)

Barry Bonds will once again be a fixture at AT&T Park. (Courtesy Art Siegel/Flickr)

How Barry Bonds found his way back to the San Francisco Giants

AT&T PARK — Speaking after the San Francisco Giants’ annual media open house on Wednesday afternoon, club CEO Larry Baer provided an in-depth look at the process of bringing Barry Bonds back to the Orange and Black.

“We’ve been talking on and off over the last several years,” said Baer, who officially hired Bonds as one of his special assistants on March 21. “Most guys, the year that they stop playing, they don’t want to [get back in] after all those years of road trips they like to maybe take some downtime.

“So, if you remember in ’08 — his last year of playing was ’07 — he wanted to play. Then things kind of went to legal issues. And then in the back of his mind I think he always thought about maybe being a hitting coach, and so, we had a hitting coach who was one we really liked, so that wasn’t available here. So, he went and did that in Miami.”

“After that, it was sort of like, ‘Look, I love what Willie [Mays] does, my godfather. He comes. He does things with speaking and the community and makes appearances. And when Willie was younger he was helping guys in the clubhouse. He still goes down to the clubhouse.’ Barry said, ‘I’d like to do that kind of a thing.’ And it was like, ‘Perfect. We’d love you to do it.’”

“The young players, they grew up watching Barry play — not Willie, obviously. So, it just all kind of fit. Before it didn’t really fit because Barry wasn’t sure if he wanted to be on the field, be a coach, a full-time coach. I think he also expressed an appreciation to work with the minor leaguers. Really, that’s a part of what he’s going to do. He’s going to go to at least three minor league trips a year.”

As part of his return to the team, Bonds will be added to the Wall of Fame on the King Street side of AT&T Park during a ceremony at a yet-to-be announced date.

Bonds’ first task with the Giants was to work with the club in spring training, and Baer has liked what he’s seen from his new special assistant so far.

“He’s great. People just want to be around him,” Baer said. “He’s such a part of our history. It was tough having these years of separation, but it wasn’t like we were angry with each other — we just couldn’t figure out the role. He’d come to the games. We couldn’t figure out, ‘What’s the role?’”

Bonds’ exit from the Miami Marlins — after just one season as the team’s hitting coach — set the stage for his return.

“The time was right. I think in his own mind, he said, ‘I don’t want to be a full-time major league coach — at least not now.’ He had too much to do in life and so this role is — we have a number of days he’s at the park for events, a number of days he’s doing stuff in the community for us and a number of days he’s going to visit the minor leaguers — it’s just kind of perfect.”Barry BondsLarry BaerMLBSan Francisco Giants

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

The fatal shooting of San Francisco resident Roger Allen by Daly City police on April 7 prompted protests in both cities. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Daly City approves body-worn and vehicle cameras for police after fatal shooting

Daly City officials on Wednesday approved body and vehicle cameras for police… Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

Most Read