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Barry Bonds: 'God knows I'm a Hall of Famer'

By The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 20, 2016 at 5:42 PM
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Barry Bonds, MLB's all-time home run king, made it clear "I'm a Hall of Famer" at a news conference Saturday for his role as the Miami Marlins hitting coach.

Bonds, in his familiar No. 25, wore a major league uniform for the first time in nine years this week -- aside from a weeklong stint as a guest instructor with the San Francisco Giants two springs ago.

Bonds said it felt "natural," to return to the fields and batting cages of spring training as he joined new manager Don Mattingly's coaching staff.

Bonds, 51, last played in the majors in 2007, unable to find a team to sign him due to a cloud of reports regarding his longtime use of performance-enhancing drugs.

In this year's Hall of Fame voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, Bonds got 44.3 percent of the votes cast, leaving him nearly 31 percent short for admission but his highest vote total in his fourth year on the ballot.

"God knows I'm a Hall of Famer," Bonds said Saturday. "I know that I'm a Hall of Fame player. I don't really need to get into that. I'll leave that to you guys to make that determination. That's not my fraternity.

"But in my fraternity, in Major League Baseball, there's not one player that ever could sit there and say that I'm not one. There's not a coach who ever coached me that says I'm not one."

Bonds was a seven-time Most Valuable Player and an eight-time Gold Glove winner whose 762 home runs and 2,558 walks are the sport's all-time standards. Bonds played 22 seasons in the majors, making the All-Star team 14 times and winning 12 Silver Slugger Awards.

Bonds led the majors in home runs three times, including setting the single-season record with 73 in 2001 and was a two-time batting champion (2002, 2004).

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