Jacob Spiwak/ Asst. Sports Director
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is well underway and we’ve already seen many familiar sights across the league to welcome us back to the sport we love.
It wouldn’t feel like baseball season without Jake Arrieta throwing a no-hitter, Bryce Harper crushing home runs and the Miami Marlins losing a lot of ballgames.
However, one event that had never happened before took place over the weekend and the Marlins played a major part in it.
San Francisco Giants legend Barry Bonds, arguably the greatest player in baseball history and the current Marlins hitting coach, visited AT&T Park for the first time in an opposing team’s uniform.
Even those who aren’t diehard baseball fans can figure out why this is such a big deal. The aura of Bonds reaches far outside just baseball. He’s become one of the most controversial figures in all of sports due to steroid allegations dating back almost a decade.
It’s a debate that will continue amongst fans for years, but whether or not you believe the greatest hitter of all time and the career leader in home runs deserves a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, one thing remains true; Bonds is the most legendary player in the history of the Giants organization.
Nobody knew exactly what to expect when he made his return to AT&T Park.
Would Bonds get a standing ovation for all of his contributions to the organization he played with for fifteen years, with the Giants faithful chanting his name as he walked onto the field? And even more importantly, would he embrace it?
Or, with public perception of Bonds’ character being so negative, would fans change their view on their former hero and greet him with boos?
While Bonds made sure to keep his loyalty to his current job with the Marlins, he was welcomed back to San Francisco with open arms.
Thousands of fans were cheering and wearing his iconic #25 jersey, a video montage of his greatest moments with the team was played in between innings and Bonds gave a curtain call and signed countless autographs.
For a player like Bonds, who faces so much national hatred and disgust for how he cheated the game of baseball, this weekend had to feel good.
Bonds can speak all he wants about how loyal he is to the Marlins and how he must respect the organization that’s now signing his paychecks, but he’ll always be a San Francisco Giant.
Both teams are struggling early on and only one of the three games played during the weekend series was competitive, but what will truly be remembered are the two words under Bonds when he was shown on the video board at AT&T Park to thousands of cheering fans: “Forever Giant”.