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SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 7: A young San Francisco Giants fan holds a sign imploring the Giants to Bring Back Barry (Bonds) during the opening day game against the San Diego Padres on April 7, 2008 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. The Padres defeated the Giants 8-4. (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)
Barry Bonds is, for reasons both good and bad, the most famous San Francisco Giants player of all-time. Not the greatest, mind you, but the most famous.
And Bonds is back in the news thanks to a recent interview in which he said that he "without a doubt" belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Bonds, speaking to Barry Bloom of MLB.com, said that he respects the Hall, but doesn't care whether or not he's voted in when he appears on the ballot for the first time.
"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."
It's most likely that voters won't put Bonds in Cooperstown. Despite the fact that he is, simply based on statistical accumulation, the greatest power hitter in baseball history, there is too much speculation about steroids (I think it's still called "speculation" at this point anyway) for him to sneak in.
Voters have exercised their opinion in recent years against players who used steroids and it's clear that the Hall wants to, if possible, keep Cooperstown as the one "clean" place in baseball.
Despite that, Bonds believes he belongs there.
"Oh, without a doubt," Bonds said. "There's not a doubt in my mind."
He might believe that, but don't expect it to matter when it comes time for a vote. The truly sad part is that Bonds probably would've ended up making the Hall of Fame without ever (allegedly?) using performance enhancers. With them, he became the definition of an asterisk.