Barry Bonds is a polarizing figure in the world of sports as he has received arguably more attention for his off the field scandals which include reported steroid abuse than the historic statistics that he has put up on the baseball diamond. The family life of Barry Bonds is particularly interesting to casual fans of the sport of baseball because from an early age the young man that seemingly was destined for fame was tied to famous names in the sport of baseball through family relationships.
Barry Bonds, born in 1964, is the son of three time all-star outfields Bobby Bonds. Bobby Bonds was an American celebrity in his own right as a noteworthy player for numerous Major League Baseball teams throughout his professional baseball career that spanned from 1968-1981. While playing for teams in large markets that included New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, and Southern California the most famous teammate that Bobby Bonds played alongside was the legendary Willie Mays.
As a right fielder in for the Giants, Bobby Bonds patrolled the outfield next to center fielder Willie Mays during the twilight of Mays’ career. When Bobby asked his good friend Willie Mays to be the godfather to his then young son Barry Willie gladly accepted, thus further cementing the notoriety of this baseball family. As an aside it is also topical to briefly mention that Barry Bonds is a distant cousin of Reggie Jackson, who is better known as Mr. October in certain circles due to his clutch performances in post season play.
Many people do not realize that Barry Bonds is not the only son of Bobby Bonds to put on a professional baseball uniform. Barry actually has a younger brother named Bobby Bonds Junior was spent a number of years in the minor leagues but was never able to get himself called up to the big leagues. Bobby Bonds Junior is nearly six years younger than his older brother Barry. During an 11 year minor league career Bobby Bonds Junior bounced around to numerous teams and had moments of glory but was never able to successfully parlay his minor league efforts into any sort of Major League Baseball career with even a fraction of the success enjoyed by his brother Barry or father Bobby Bonds Senior.
Despite the early promise that Barry Bonds showed as a naturally gifted young athlete baseball historians would have been hard pressed to guess that Barry had any conceivable chance of surpassing the accomplishes of his relatives Willie Mays and Reggie Jackson, or for that matter his own father Bobby Bonds. Regardless of diverging opinions on implications of alleged performance enhancing drug use by Barry Bonds there is no arguing that he was the most dominant baseball player of his era.