Two days after his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio and John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez had his No. 45 retired by the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
Early next month, Seattle will retire Randy Johnson’s No. 51, which he wore for 10 amazing seasons en route to Cooperstown, N.Y. Biggio’s No. 7 already hangs from the rafters at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, and the Braves retired Smoltz’s No. 29 three years ago.
So when will the Giants retire Barry Bonds’ No. 25?
If they wait for him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, it could be a long wait – if that day ever comes.
After an amazing career during which he was a seven-time league MVP and set the career home run record with 762, Bonds’ legacy floats like piece of driftwood in McCovey Cove.
He should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2012 and had his number retired long ago, but he’s been blackballed by a majority of eligible voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America for his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, even though he never tested positive or was suspended by Major League Baseball.
Without a smoking gun or a glove that won’t fit, the Department of Justice last week dropped its decadelong steroids prosecution of Bonds, who celebrated the victory with his 51st birthday.
However, it’s unlikely to sway the public opinion that Bonds is guilty of steroids use, and it remains to be seen if it sways BWAA voters.
The clock is ticking; Bonds has just seven years of eligibility left for the Hall.
Bonds’ name and No. 25 belong next to other Giants greats such as Willie Mays (24), Willie McCovey (44), Juan Marichal (27) and Orlando Cepeda (30).
He belongs there now, this season.
Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527, firstname.lastname@example.org, @sacbeevictor
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