Bonds might not donate prized items to Hall of Fame

Bonds might not donate prized items to Hall of Fame

Bonds might not donate prized items to Hall of Fame
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- As Barry Bonds nears his record 756th home run, he's stockpiling quite a collection of souvenirs -- bats, balls, helmets and spikes, pieces of baseball history perfectly suited for the Hall of Fame.

Whether he'll donate any of them to Cooperstown, however, is in doubt.

"I'm not worried about the Hall," the San Francisco slugger said during a recent homer drought. "I take care of me."

No wonder those at the museum are getting concerned, especially with Bonds only 10 homers shy of breaking Hank Aaron's career mark.

"There's uncertainty," Hall vice president Jeff Idelson acknowledged.

Around 35,000 artifacts are shown and stored at the shrine, and about a dozen pertain to Bonds.

There is a bat from his rookie year and cleats from him becoming the first player in the 400-homer/400-steal club. Unsolicited, he sent the bat and ball from his 2,000th hit. A batting practice bat from the 2002 World Series was the last thing Bonds provided.

"Doesn't everybody have the right to decide to do it or not do it?" he said last week.

The most prized items, the ones that fans would really want to see, are missing.

Nothing directly from Bonds to highlight his 500th home run. Ditto for homers 714 and 715, when he tied and passed Babe Ruth. Same for anything tied to him topping Mark McGwire's single-season total of 70.

Hall president Dale Petroskey went to visit Bonds at spring training last year, and instead walked smack into his reality show. The Giants talked to Bonds this year, and hope he'll be in a giving mood as the big moment comes and goes.

So far, Bonds has not indicated he intends to share any Aaron-related memorabilia.

A Hall representative plans to follow Bonds once he gets within a few home runs of Aaron's 755. Idelson has collected treasures for Cooperstown for more than a dozen years.

"Barry is very cognizant of his place in baseball history and we'll try to work closely with him to assure him that how this milestone is represented meets his expectations and ours," Idelson said.

"You need artifacts from the player to do that," he said. "A cap, bat or jersey, anything can tie a visitor to a specific event."

Aaron, who has said he will not attend the record-breaker, is well-documented at the Hall. There are 40 assorted items from his career; Ruth is remembered with more than 30.

The Hall does have the home plate from Bonds' 714th homer and first base and the lineup card from No. 715 -- those came from ballparks, not him.

Bonds has been generous with teammates and opponents. He recently signed a guitar that Giants pitcher Barry Zito gave to charity and autographed a bat for Houston's Craig Biggio. He's also given some of his own things to charity.

Bonds is careful with personal items related to his home run pursuit. He makes certain that hats, jerseys and other things he wears are authenticated, and he keeps them in a warehouse.

He marks them, he said, "so people don't steal my stuff." By his count, he's already able to take care of his next three-plus generations.

Whether that memorabilia shows up on his personal Web site or in Cooperstown remains to be seen. He opted out of Major League Baseball's licensing agreement before the 2004 season, and some of his gear is auctioned off on MLB's Web site -- on Monday, bidding topped $10,000 for a Bonds-signed Giants jersey.

Also to be determined is whether Bonds himself is inducted into the Hall. If he does make it, that could be his first trip to the red-bricked building on Main Street.

Bonds becomes eligible for election five years after his final game, and there's no telling how steroid allegations will affect his vote total.

The Hall is independent of MLB and the word "steroid" does not appear inside the shrine.

"There's not a lot you can say about it," Idelson said. "As the story plays out, we'll address it."

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"I'm not worried about the Hall," the San Francisco slugger said during a recent homer drought. "I take care of me."


What a piece of work  tongue

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Bonds can expect rude reception in NY

When big, bad Barry visits, attention turns to intentional heckling as much as historic HRs
 
BY DAVID LENNON

Only one other player in recent memory inspired the animosity that will be expected tonight when Barry Bonds arrives at Shea Stadium. That man was John Rocker. No one, short of the president, could mobilize the NYPD the way the Braves' closer did during those visits to Flushing in 2000.

Rocker's racist comments to Sports Illustrated enraged a nation, not just baseball fans. Bonds' crime is threatening to topple sports' most venerable record with the alleged help of performance-enhancing drugs.

Yet the debate over Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's home run mark - along with his linkage to the ongoing BALCO investigation - has spurred a firestorm that intensifies every time he goes deep.

Many people hate him for it. Maybe that anger doesn't reach the level prompted by Rocker's bigoted, anti-New York diatribe, but there are organized groups -- some that plan to protest tonight -- trying to derail Bonds' historic chase of Aaron.

Rocker's damage was delivered in a single magazine article. It's different with Bonds, who still is nine home runs away from catching Aaron at 755.

The Giants slugger has endured more than boos and the usual anti-Bonds propaganda in his travels. A syringe was hurled at him in San Diego last season.

The Mets have taken the necessary precaution of stepping up the police presence at Shea for this three-game series, but who knows what could happen at the stadium this week?

Tom Glavine remembers the anxiety of wearing a Braves uniform during those Rocker visits, when a temporary roof was installed over the Atlanta bullpen and none of his teammates wanted to stand within 20 feet of him on the field. Bonds is a similar type of polarizing influence, and he no doubt will be the focal point of everyone in the stands.

"When you have that many people in the stadium and they're all against you, yeah, it can be scary," said Glavine, who starts tomorrow. "There's a lot of wacky people in the world. Depending on how far somebody wants to take their anger or whatever, when you get in that environment, with that many people you can't possibly keep track of, it can make for a dangerous situation.

"For those people that are like that, that are so passionate about it and are so into it, you reach that emotional level and you don't know what somebody is going to do. That's where you've got to be careful. You just hope that nobody wants to take it any further than just yelling at him."

Glavine recalled Kevin Millwood getting nailed in the head with an orange - intended for Rocker -- as the Braves exited the field at Dodger Stadium.

Carlos Delgado is likely to be the closest to Bonds after one of his customary intentional walks, but the Mets' first baseman hadn't thought about the possibility of being collateral damage.

"I always respect everybody's opinion," Delgado said of the fans. "Do what you got to do. Knock yourself out."

Delgado wasn't condoning illegal behavior, just the right to boo Bonds if that's what you feel like doing. And very few places do it better than Shea, although it is not sold out for this series.

In the past, Delgado was on the receiving end of some rough treatment in the Bronx and Queens for controversies involving "God Bless America" and his ripping of the Mets, and he knows what's waiting for Bonds.

"That's New York," Delgado said. "They're always passionate about something if you give them enough ammunition."

Said manager Willie Randolph: "The Barry Bashers will be out there. That's pretty much a given."

Bonds is treated to unconditional love at home at AT&T Park, but as soon as he leaves the Bay Area, there are no safe zones. The Giants still have fans in New York left over from their days at the Polo Grounds, but Bonds is an island. The only place he has been indicted is the court of public opinion, yet commissioner Bud Selig still hasn't decided whether he'll be in attendance when (and if) he breaks Aaron's record.

"That's disrespectful," Billy Wagner said. "I think that if he hasn't been found guilty, you have to support him. If something comes out later and says he is guilty, then you can pull your support back. But you don't know what's the truth and what's not. That's the problem.

"If Selig knows something that he's not letting everyone else know that Barry did, he's as much at fault. You either support him or you do something about it."

Love him or hate him, Bonds will be the featured attraction this week, even overshadowing the Mets for the next three days. Bonds knows it. So do the Mets.

"Everyone complains about Barry, but they want to see him hit a home run. They do," Wagner said. "That's just being a fan. If I wasn't playing, I'd be the same way. When I look, and the Giants come on TV, the first thing I want to see is: Did Barry go deep?

"I guarantee you if I'm facing him in the ninth, they'll want me to go right at him and they either want to see a home run or a strikeout. That's just the way it goes."

METS' THOUGHTS ON BONDS' SHEA ARRIVAL

Carlos Delgado

'That's New York. They're always passionate about something if you give them enough ammunition.'

Billy Wagner

'Everyone complains about Barry, but they want to see him hit a home run. They do.'

Tom Glavine

'You just hope that nobody wants to take it any further than just yelling at him.'

Willie Randolph

'The Barry Bashers will be out there. That's pretty much a given.'

www.newsday.com

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With all the crap he's taken I kind of agree with him on this. I would keep that ball too screw all the haters, it's not like baseball wants to give him the credit anyways.

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Bonds noncommittal about playing next year
June 1, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Barry Bonds isn't sure about his future or thinking about breaking Hank Aaron's home run record.

Swarmed by cameras, microphones and a horde of reporters, an affable Bonds sat in the dugout and discussed various topics ranging from his ability to tune out fans to his fondness for Philly cheesesteaks.

Just don't ask him about his march toward Aaron's total of 755 homers. Bonds had 746 before the San Francisco Giants opened a four-game series against the Phillies on Friday night.

``I'm not talking about the record. I only talk about us as a team,'' Bonds said, holding a digital recorder near his mouth throughout the interview so he could post it on his Web site.

Asked if he planned to play next season, Bonds said: ``I don't know. Let me get through this one first.''

With that, Bonds walked onto the field and soon went over to reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard of the Phillies behind the batting cage. The two sluggers, joined by Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson, talked for several minutes.

No doubt, Bonds gave the slumping Howard some advice.

``Keep your head up. That's it,'' Bonds said when asked what he would say to Howard. ``If you can't deal with bad times in the game of baseball, you will never, ever appreciate the good times. If you've always got to go through good times, then don't play baseball, because it's not going to happen. This isn't like a movie where they say: 'Cut, take, and look good all the time.' This is live.''

As usual when he isn't home, Bonds heard quite a few boos during pre-game introductions. One fan held up a sign that said: ``Cheater.'' Another sign read: ``You took steroids.''

Known for their boorish behavior, Philly fans certainly had more creative - and derogatory - banners, costumes and insults when Bonds visited last year. He hit his 713th homer at Citizens Bank Park to move within one of tying Babe Ruth for second place on baseball's career list.

Having come off a three-game series at Shea Stadium, Bonds was ready for more jeers. He insisted all the boos don't bother him.

``As long as they all show up, I don't really care,'' he said. ``As long as it's sold-out, that's all that matters to me, that we put on a good show.''

When Adam Eaton intentionally walked Bonds with two outs and a runner on second base in the first inning, fans cheered the move.

Bonds had 10 homers in the first 29 games, but only connected twice in the next 23.

``You know I'm one for drama. If I didn't string you guys along, you'd have nothing to talk about,'' he said.

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Bonds noncommittal about playing next year

I really don't think to many people would care if he retired tomorrow  big_smile

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