After six years on the ballot, Barry Bonds may be on the cusp of being voted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.
Barry Bonds remains in the record books as the all-time leader in home runs with 762 over a 22-year career. He is also the record holder for walks and intentional walks in a career. His career slash line: .298/.444/.607 for an absurd 182 OPS+.
Bonds was awarded seven MVP awards, eight Gold Gloves, he won the batting title twice, and was a 14-time All-Star.
And yet, after six years of being on the ballot for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he remains on the outside looking in.
His connections to PEDs during the steroid-rampant era of baseball remain unproven, but he remains seemingly found guilty in the court of public opinion.
Despite the negativity that shrouded the end of his playing career and beyond, evidence suggests that the MLB home run king could join the 2020 class of inductees into Cooperstown.
For one, his chances have steadily increased each year. Despite only capturing 35.4 percent of the required 75% of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America in his first year on the ballot in 2014, Bonds has seen more votes with each passing year. In 2019, Bonds came away with 59.1 percent of the vote.
The ballots for 2020’s Hall of Fame class are being counted, and early indications are looking good for Bonds. Per MLB.com, all six of their eligible writers cast a vote for Bonds to be enshrined this year.
"With 75% of the vote needed for entry to the Hall, Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Walker, Rolen, Schilling and Vizquel received enough support — the first four appearing on all six ballots, and the other three appearing on five of six (83%) — from MLB.com writers."
Though a small sample size, having all six in favor of Bonds being enshrined is a good start.
Besides revealing their ballots, those MLB.com writers were allowed to add comments on their selections. Jon Paul Morosi summed up his view on the PED-era issue as such:
"I weigh the ethical questions of the so-called “Steroid Era” every year. My essential position has not changed. Unless a player has been suspended by MLB for PED use, I give him full consideration."
If the past and current evidence is proof of anything, San Francisco Giants fans can at least know the views on Bonds and his legacy are inching towards the positive side of the spectrum.
Besides the momentum he has steadily gained among baseball journalists, he also received one of the best referrals when baseball legend Willie Mays spoke at Bonds’ number retirement ceremony on Aug. 11, 2018.
"When you get [into the Hall of Fame], you say ‘man, how did I get here?’ And I want him to have that honor. On behalf of all the people in San Francisco and all over the country: vote this guy in."
With things steadily trending in the right direction, there is a growing chance that 2020 becomes the year that Barry Bonds finally joins the greats of the game in Cooperstown.
Stay tuned, Giants fans.