The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #1 Barry Bonds

Topping our list at #1 is the greatest player in baseball history, Barry Bonds. Babe Ruth was a larger-than-life figure who assaulted the record books on a nightly basis but imagine if Ruth put up his numbers in a global, fully integrated league with twice as many players to compete against. Well, that’s Bonds. There are many statistics to support Bonds’ claim to the top spot so let’s start with some of the heavy hitters. First off, Bonds is the all-time home run king with an unbelievable 762 round-trippers. He’s also the all-time walk king with an absurd 2,558 free passes which are 368 more than any other player. Bonds was so feared by opposing managers that he was intentionally walked 688 times–a total that is 375 more than any other player.  He holds the single-season record for on-base percentage with a ludicrous .609 mark (min. 500 plate appearances) in 2004. He also owns the 2nd highest single-season on-base percent total (.582 in 2002). In fact, Bonds’ 2nd best single-season on-base percentage is still 29 points ahead of any other season in history. Bonds owns the single-season slugging percentage record with a comical .863 mark.  He also owns three of the top five single-season slugging percentage marks of all time. Bonds owns the three highest single-season OPS+ marks of all time, topping out with an absurd 268 in 2002.  He owns the three highest single-season walk totals in major league history, including a Bondsian total of 232 in 2004 which is 62 more than any other player has achieved. The difference between Bonds’ all-time single-season walks record and the non-Bonds player with the next most walks—Babe Ruth—is the difference between Ruth and the 316th player on the single-season walks list. Bonds is also #1 all-time in War for Position players and runs created, 3rd in OPS+ and runs, 4th in OPS and total bases, 5th in slugging percentage, and 6th in RBIs and on-base percentage. He’s the only player in history with at least 350 home runs and 400 stolen bases and he did it with 762 home runs and 514 stolen bases! He won seven MVPs which is four more than any other player. He finished in the top-2 nine times which is the most all-time. He’s the only player in history with at least 1,140 extra-base hits and 400 stolen bases and he did it with 1,440 extra-base hits and 514 stolen bases. He’s the only player in MLB history with 500 career stolen bases and a .440 on-base percentage. He’s the only player in history with 500 stolen bases and a .600 slugging percentage. He’s the only player in history with 500 stolen bases and a 1.000 OPS. He hit at least 33 home runs in 13 consecutive seasons which is the all-time record. He has five seasons of 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases which is tied for the most all-time (with his dad). He has 10 seasons of at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases which is tied for the most all-time (with his dad). He led the league in WAR for position players 11 times and came in the top-5 15 times; both are tied for the most in history. He led the league in walks 12 times which is the most in history. He led the league in runs created nine times which is tied for the most in history. He led the league in intentional walks 12 times which is the most ever. He joins Babe Ruth as the only two players in history to hit at least .340 with 45 home runs in three consecutive seasons. There have only been eight seasons in history that have produced 45 home runs and a .500 on-base percentage and Bonds has four of them. Oh, and he did it four years in a row! Bonds walked 181 more times than he struck out in 2004 and walked 151 more times than he struck out in 2002. Nobody has ever even come close to those margins. Despite never playing with a Hall of Famer, Bonds led seven teams to the playoffs and produced one of the great World Series performances of all-time when his Giants lost a 7-game thriller to the Angels in 2002. In 30 at-bats, Bonds had a make-believe 1.994 OPS, an unfathomable 1.294 slugging percentage, and a ludicrous .700 on-base percentage.

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