On This Day in History – ​August 23, 2003: Bobby Bonds Dies

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Bobby Bonds died of complications from lung cancer and a brain tumor at age 57 in San Carlos, California. He is interred at Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo, California.

Bobby Lee Bonds was a right fielder in Major League Baseball from 1968 to 1981, primarily with the San Francisco Giants. Noted for his outstanding combination of power hitting and speed, he was the first player to have more than two seasons of 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases, doing so a record five times (the record was matched only by his son Barry), and was the first to accomplish the feat in both major leagues. 

He became the second player to hit 300 career home runs and steal 300 bases, joining Willie Mays. Together with Barry, he is part of baseball’s most accomplished father-son combination, holding the record for combined home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases .

As a dangerous leadoff hitter, he also set major league records for most times leading off a game with a home run in a career (35) and a season (11, in 1973); both records have since been broken.

LEGACY: ⚾Bonds’ 461 career stolen bases ranked 12th in major league history upon his retirement.

⚾Barry Bonds is the only other player in major league history to hit 300 home runs and steal 400 bases, and also the only other player to have five 30–30 seasons.

⚾11 times Bonds was in his league’s top 10 in stolen bases, with eight of those season in the top six.

⚾7 times he was among the league top ten home run hitters and nine time he was among the top ten in runs scored, leading the NL in 1971 and 1973.

⚾He was in the top ten in total bases eight times, leading the NL in 1973.

⚾Barry and Bobby had 1094 combined home runs through 2007 – a record for a father-son combination.

⚾He was a 3-time Gold Glove Award winner (1971, 1973–74)

⚾3-time All-Star (1971, 1973 & 1975, winning the All-Star MVP award in 1973.)

⚾A park in his home town of Riverside, California is named in his honor.

⚾A new league called Bobby Bonds Baseball was started in honor of Bobby. The league comes after Babe Ruth Baseball for ballplayers who are now too old for Babe Ruth League.

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