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On This Day In Sports: Barry Bonds Becomes MLB Single-Season HR King

As the game of baseball evolves, the most electrifying play remains the home run and nobody in the history of the sport did it better than Barry Bonds, who set a new mark for home runs in a single season, slugging dingers 71 and 72 on October 5, 2001.

As the game of baseball evolves, the most electrifying play remains the home run and nobody in the history of the sport did it better than Barry Bonds, who set a new mark for home runs in a single season, slugging dingers 71 and 72 on October 5, 2001. 

Bonds hits #71

10/6/01: Barry Bonds hits his 71st home run of the season and breaks the single season record Check out http://MLB.com/video for more! About MLB.com: About MLB.com: Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced on January 19, 2000, that the 30 Major League Club owners voted unanimously to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations into an independent technology company.

Bonds broke the record of 70 set by Mark McGwire. It was the moment he became king of the game and MLB enemy No. 1. The shining moment in an illustrious and controversial career that garnered him seven MVP awards, 8 Gold Gloves and two batting titles.

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The PED Era is still self-righteously frowned upon by some members of the baseball community and BBWAA as a black eye on the sport, when in reality it was one of baseballs greatest moments. If you just examine the bottom line; revenue soared, the game experienced a revival of popularity and talent that eventually spread across the world. Hitting bombs became an everyday part of the game for a select few players who mastered the art of the home run. 


Lincoln on Twitter

Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire really put up 60+ home run seasons with McGuire hitting 70 once and then Bonds went 73 in ’01 lmao holy SHIT I wish we could witness something like that again


The Era wasnt limited to just power hitters, and thats the beauty of it. Barry Bonds is one of the multi-faceted faces of that Era. The only player in history to hit 500 blasts and steal 500 bases. Never mind the Gold Gloves. Hes the all-time home run king with 762, but some people still acknowledge Hank Aaron’s 755 dingers as the standard of power hitting excellence because Bonds is considered a PED cheat. For that alleged transgression, he’s yet to be inducted into Cooperstown

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Its still undeniable that he was a great player. He was a lightning rod of drama, he didnt get along with the media and he had his share of conflicts with teammates. Thats why he was so vilified back then. 

Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame Barry Bonds

Top 5 reasons you can’t blame Barry Bonds… …for being Barry Bonds Very interesting piece by ESPN Classic on Major League Baseball’s home run leader


Nearly two decades later, Bonds’ record still stands. So does Bonds, who was accepted back into baseball with open arms as a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in 2016. He currently works in the Giants organization as a special adviser to the CEO. Bonds No. 25 jersey was rightfully retired by San Francisco on August 11, 2018.

The Shadow League on Twitter

Congratulations to @BarryBonds who has his number retired by the Giants #Bonds25 https://t.co/nHSCFZZ1TH


Theres not a baseball fan living during that time, that can say that Barry Bonds cheated them. He made believers out of dreamers. He raised the entire stratosphere of the game. He WAS baseball entertainment. Hes been the hero. The villain. The scapegoat. The greatest. Hes also still the single season and career home run king and its in the books. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.