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Barry Bonds

To say I know Barry Bonds would be perhaps, an exaggeration. To say he was stand up when we were in proximity to one another is not.

As a young woman in my twenties I took the trek to work the Cactus League in Arizona, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but dammit, I knew I loved baseball.

Barry Bonds story read like a fairy tale. He too, loved baseball. He too moved west. He made a lot of money, me not so much. If you’re a true fan of baseball you know how much his free agent deal meant. If you are not a true fan of baseball I’m sure you remember or will be reminded of the numbers.

When Bonds signed his contract with San Francisco we were all excited. This would be what got us there and we were ready. Bonds in the batting cage was magic and not just for this concessions office manager. He’d slam them into the backdrop for the kids when he should have been saving it for the season. He worked with Coach Kennedy. He signed autographs. He shared stories with the fans and did the calisthenics with his team mates. He said hello every day to a young woman who was working from 4:30 in the morning until 1:30 at night. He signed a bat and a ball for her and with Matt Williams made his first season with the Giants perhaps my most memorable.

The man loves the game. He’s always appreciated his gift.

The verdict is in. It is perhaps fair and perhaps not. I personally would like to know why?? While our country was involved in a war most of us don’t want, a bank scandal that took away life savings from many I know, and too many other substantive issues, why did we focus on steroids. Why were these the congressional hearings that were held and seemingly mattered?

Just last summer I argued with a friend that the only rule a ball player was ever told couldn’t be broken was betting on baseball. We learned that one the hard way. In the late eighties and early nineties players did what they had to to be better, bigger, swing the bat harder, run faster. We demanded it of the players.

The left hand challenges the right here in America. It doesn’t mean we’re paying attention . I choose to remember the best ball player of his age greeting me in the morning with a “You didn’t let Ed talk you into living on McDonald’s’ again today?”

Thank you Barry Bonds for everything you did for baseball. I’m sorry baseball didn’t do everything it should have for you.

Ruth Jordan