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- Barry Bonds
- Perjury, Obstruction of Justice
- No prison, but thus far not admitted to MLB Hall of Fame
The arrest of Barry Bonds:
He's baseball's all-time home run king, holding the single season record for the most home runs (73) and more career homers (762) than anyone, including the legendary Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. You'd think an accomplishment like that would make him a lock for the baseball Hall of Fame, but think again. It remains questionable whether Barry Bonds will ever make it in.
That's because, despite all of those homers and a staggering seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards and 14 All Star game appearances, Bonds was a central figure in Major League baseball's steroid scandal, which has seemingly washed away his on-field accomplishments.
His career started with so much promise. The son of major league star Bobby Bonds and the godson of Willie Mays…
…Barry had baseball nature and nurture working for him.
He broke in and starred for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1985 to 1992…
…where he won the MVP Award in 1990 and 1992.
In 1993, Bonds signed what was then a record 6 year, forty three and three quarter million dollar free agent contract with the team of his father and godfather: the San Francisco Giants.
It paid early dividends for the Giants when Barry won the 1993 MVP award. He later went on to win it again every year from 2001-2004.
Barry made baseball history in 2001, setting a new single season home run record.
His season ending total is the current record 73.
And in 2007, he climbed the ultimate baseball slugging summit, when he broke Hank Aaron's record for career home runs.
However, 2007 also marked the start of Barry's problems. He was indicted that year on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, accused of lying to a grand jury investigating BALCO, the company at the center of the storm.
The indictment said Barry lied under oath about alleged steroid use. He claimed to use a clear substance and cream from his personal trainer, who told him it was the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis.
Bonds was convicted in April 2011 on obstruction of justice charges and it was upheld on appeal in September, 2013.
Barry's sentence did not include prison.
But in April, 2015, after more than a decade in court, Bonds was cleared legally. A Federal Appeals Court, in an overwhelming 10-1 ruling, threw out his obstruction of justice conviction. The court ruled that Bonds' 2003 grand jury testimony was not material to the government's probe of illegal steroids distribution.
Bonds reacted by saying he was humbled by the decision and excited about whatever the future holds for him.
It remains to be seen, however, whether his time in the Halls of Justice will mean continued exclusion from membership in baseball's Hall of Fame, despite those record 762 career homeruns.