Pittsburgh Pirates: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh Pirates
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4. . LF. 1986-92. Barry Bonds. 6. player

Barry Bonds is best remembered for his majestic home runs while with the San Francisco Giants. Before he was doing that, Bonds was hammering long balls for the Pirates. Although his Pittsburgh accomplishments don’t measure up to what he did in the Bay Area, Bonds is still an easy choice as an all-time Pirates great.

Debuting in 1986, Bonds was a quick-footed outfielder with some pop. He hit 16 home runs and stole 36 bases in his rookie season. He continued to get better for the rest of the decade and into the 1990s.

Bonds made his first All-Star team in 1990. It was also the same year he won the MVP. What’s more, Bonds added a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove to his mantle. Clearly, the kid was something special.

For two more years, Pirates fans got to see the future home run champion clobber home runs. He finished second in the MVP in 1991 and won the award in his final season as a Pirate in 1992. In both years, he also took home the Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove.

This was just a preview of what the future held for Bonds. In those seven seasons, we still did see Bonds smack 176 home runs and steal 251 bases. He came up just short of 1,000 hits, settling at 984.

Bonds is seventh in franchise history with a 50.3 WAR. He didn’t stay long enough to set any franchise records, which he surely would have if not for free agency. Bonds is the only player in team history to win multiple MVPs. Hopefully, someone joins him in the near future.