On this date 25 years ago, a baseball star agreed to go home.
Barry Bonds, then a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, left the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent to join the Giants. On Dec. 6, 1992, he agreed to a six-year, $43.75 million contract to play near the city where he went to high school, Serra in San Mateo.
“I’m going home; I’m ecstatic,” Bonds told ESPN. “I think they’re committed to winning. That’s all that I ever wanted.”
At that time, Bonds’ deal was the richest in Major League Baseball history.
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“I want to see what his paycheck looks like,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda told The Bee’s Ron Kroichick. “When he cashes it, they won’t have to count it. They’ll put it on a scale and weigh it.
“They got one of the best players in the National League. It’s hard to figure out if it makes them a contender, but it makes them a whole lot better.”
The Giants originally drafted Bonds in 1982, after his senior year at Serra. However, contract negotiations reportedly did not go smoothly, so Bonds opted to go to Arizona State instead. The Pirates drafted him sixth overall in 1986.
Following his second MVP season, where Bonds hit .311 with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs for the N.L. East champions, Bonds reportedly turned down a five-year, $36 million offer from the New York Yankees to join the Giants.
Bonds spent the last 15 seasons of his career with San Francisco, winning five more MVPs and finishing as baseball’s home run king with 762 when his career ended after the 2007 season.