Bobby Bonds, who combined power at the plate with speed on the bases to become one of baseball's best players in the 1970s and formed the game's leading father-and-son home run duo with his son Barry, died Saturday morning in the San Francisco Bay region. He was 67.
The cause of death was lymphoma, a cancer of the blood cells that is often treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Bonds, who played first base for the San Francisco Giants from 1971 to 1991 and was an All-Star player during that time, finished with 756 career homers and a.273 average. He remains among the all-time leaders in many offensive categories.
Bobby Bonds was born on January 17, 1945 in New York City. His parents were Evelyn (Collins) and Bobby Bonds, who was also an athlete turned minor league manager. His mother was Irish and his father was black, but he always denied being racially mixed.
He grew up in suburban Brooklyn and began playing baseball as a boy. When he was 11 years old, he joined a local team and by the time he was 14, he was playing on a travel team that traveled to different cities throughout the country to play baseball.
After graduating from high school, Bonds went to Miami University in Ohio where he played college baseball for the RedHawks.
Bobby Lee Bonds (March 15, 1946 – August 23, 2003) was an American right fielder who played in Major League Baseball with the San Francisco Giants from 1968 to 1981. He and Barry are baseball's most accomplished father-son duo, owning the record for combined home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases. Both were righties.
Bonds Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California, but grew up in South Bay, a suburb of San Diego. His mother, Angela St. John Bonds, was a nurse; his father, Bobby Bonds, was a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Senators between 1949 and 1955. He also has two siblings: a brother, Brandon, and a sister, Tiffany. The family moved to Rancho Cucamonga when Bobby Jr. was 10 years old so that he could attend high school there. He played college baseball at UCLA before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the 1967 draft.
Bonds married Joanne Herring on February 14, 1969, in Chatsworth, California. They have three children: Bobby III, Brianna, and Bronson. Joanne died of cancer in 2003 at the age of 44. That same year, Bonds married Nicole Schwallie. In 2005, after several failed attempts, Bonds married Margo Adams. They also have a son together named Trevor.
Barry Bonds' father had been battling lung cancer and a brain tumor for over a year, but he never lost his passion for baseball. On Wednesday night, he was at Pacific Bell Park, cheering on his superstar son and the San Francisco Giants. Bobby Bonds died soon before 9 a.m. PDT, according to a Giants spokeswoman. He was 68.
Bobby Bonds was born in New York City on January 17, 1945. He was adopted by a family who moved to Southern California when he was a child. He became one of the most successful hitters in baseball history, with a career batting average of.272. From 1974-1988, he played all three outfield positions for the Giants.
After retiring from baseball, he worked as a security guard at Dodger Stadium and spent many hours watching his son Barry play. He passed away less than a month after his son.
Bonds said his father taught him how to hit by hitting balls out of the park when he was a child. He also said that his father told him he would be "the greatest hitter that ever lived".
Bobby Bonds has two children from a previous marriage: Brantley and Jessica. He and his wife, Julia, had two more sons together: Bo and Dustin. After divorcing, Bobby Bonds married again, this time to Nancy Marconi. They had a daughter together named Brittany.
Bobby Bonds undoubtedly taught his son Barry a great deal about baseball. Bobby was a three-time All-Star and Gold Glover winner. Bonds Sr. belongs to the 300-home run/300-stolen base club. Barry Bonds had a phenomenal career, with far too many milestones to count. He is the all-time leader in home runs per game played (0.947) and total homers (752). His record has since been beaten by several players including Mike Trout, who has 963 hits in his age-32 season.
Bonds also taught his son how to manage money well. When Barry Bonds first came into the league, he was given a $400,000 salary. By the time he retired, he made over $55 million.
Bonds also taught his son that it is important to be tolerant of others. In 2007, Barry Bonds said of Alex Rodriguez: "There's no reason for him not to try out. I think if anything, people should be more tolerant of each other's differences."
Last but not least, Bobby Bonds taught his son that it is important to set goals and work hard to achieve them. During his career, Barry Bonds wanted to hit 500 home runs and win a World Series ring. He got partway there in 2007 when the San Francisco Giants beat the New York Yankees in seven games to win the championship.
Bobby Bonds, his father, was a San Francisco Giants outfielder. Reggie Jackson, a baseball legend, was his cousin. His godfather was Bobby Bonds' teammate, the renowned Willie Mays. Barry Bonds excelled in baseball from a young age. In 1986, at the age of 18, he debuted in the Major Leagues and did not stop playing since then. He is the all-time leader in home runs by a right-handed hitter.
Bonds has been involved in several controversies throughout his career. One of them involved his use of steroids/performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). In 2007, he went to trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. However, he was never convicted of any crime and was declared "not guilty" by the jury.
Another controversy surrounding Bonds involves his alleged involvement with human growth hormone (HGH). In 2001, he was accused by former player Jason Giambi of using banned substances including HGH. However, there was no proof that Bonds used HGH and the accusation was denied by him as well as other members of the San Francisco Giants team.
In 2009, Bonds again found himself in the news when it was reported that he had tested positive for steroid salicylic acid during the 2008 season. At the time, MLB announced that it was suspending him for three games.