Barry Bonds Says He Belongs in Cooperstown
San Francisco, CA
Home run king Barry Bonds says he belongs to the Hall of Fame despite being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in his career.
"Without a doubt. There's not a doubt in my mind," Bonds told MLB.com in an interview. Bonds hit 762 home runs and won seven MVP awards during a 22-year career that ended in 2007.
Bonds will be appearing on the ballot for the first time together with Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, who like him, were also accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The Hall of Fame ballot will be released in November while final voting for Cooperstown will be announced in January.
"I respect the Hall of Fame, don't get me wrong. I really, really, really respect the Hall of Fame. And I think we all do," Bonds said. "I love the city of San Francisco and to me that's my Hall of Fame. I don't worry about it because I don't want to be negative about the way other people think it should be run. That's their opinion, and I'm not going to be negative.
"I know I'm going to be gone one day. If you want to keep me out, that's your business. My things are here in San Francisco. These are the people who love me. This is where I feel I belong. This is where I want to belong. If the voters want to put me in there, so be it, fine. If they don't, so be it, fine," he added.
Bonds was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice in April 2011, after the jury found that he gave an evasive answer in 2003 to a grand jury investigating illegal steroids distribution.
After his Giants contract expired after the 2007 season, Bonds wanted to continue playing for San Francisco for one more year but he was not given a new deal
"I should have been able to play one more year. That's all I wanted. Play the one more year in San Francisco. I knew one more year would have been it for me. That's what I wanted to do. It didn't work out that way," said Bonds, but clarified that he has no ax to grind with the Giants.
"I have no animosity toward anyone. I'm very grateful. This is my hometown. I have family here. I don't have fans, these people are my family and I love them to death. I played for them and performed for them. I was lucky," he added.
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