Bobby Bonds died this afternoon after a year-long bout with a brain tumor and lung cancer. He was only 57.

He’s likely best known as the father of Barry Bonds, holder of the single season home run record and arguably the best baseball player who ever lived. But Bobby was a superb player in his own right:

Bonds, a three-time All-Star and the MVP of the 1973 game, hit 332 home runs and stole 461 bases for the Giants, New York Yankees, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Texas, Cleveland, St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs.

He hit .268, had 1,024 RBIs and won three Gold Glove awards as an outfielder.

Bonds became the second NL player to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season in 1969 with the Giants. Willie Mays, his close friend and Barry Bonds’ godfather, was the first to do it.

Bobby Bonds reached the 30-30 mark four more times in his 14-year career. Barry Bonds has also done it five times; no other player has reached the mark more than three times.

A native of Riverside, Calif., Bobby Bonds signed with the Giants in 1964 out of high school. He played seven seasons with San Francisco and has remained with the Giants after retiring. He served as the club’s hitting coach from 1993-96, and since then has been a special assistant to general manager Brian Sabean.

Bonds is survived by his wife, Pat, and three sons: Barry, Ricky and Bobby Jr.

Best wishes to the Bonds family. Fifty-seven is far too young to die.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. The Truth says:

    57 is the age you will die at if you smoke lots of cigarettes. The passing of anyone’s father, brother, son, grandfather is tragic, but if you don’t want to die at 57 then don’t smoke.

  2. bryan says:

    “arguably the greatest player ever” Yeah, I’d argue that he’s not, but this isn’t the comment box for that. 🙁