Barry Bonds’ 2,935th and final hit as a Major League Baseball player occurred on this night 11 years ago at Petco Park. He would play just one more game as part of an arrangement with Bruce Bochy and the Giants’ front office after the team made it clear they would not be re-signing him. That game was also against the Padres, but at AT&T Park. The starter was not the lowly Brett Tomko, it was Jake Peavy, so it should come as no surprise that in his final game, Bonds went 0-for-3.
So here, it is. Marvel at the scorched single up the middle off the bat of one of the greatest hitters of all time.
Bonds led off the second inning of this game (the Giants would lose 6-0, dropping them to 66-82) and was pulled the inning ended (replaced by Nate Schierholtz). And then that was it until 11 days later for that final home game.
His final home run was on September 5th in Colorado. There’s something oddly fitting about that, just as there’s something oddly fitting about his final hit being a single up the middle. Anyone except the 2018 Giants can hit home runs in Coors Field, and a single up the middle is one of the most basic skills a hitter can have.
It made a Giant look small. It made one of the greatest players of the game look old and it reminded us all that it was over.
Betting against Bonds has crashed several people against the rocks over the course of his career, so I don’t doubt that he could’ve put it all together one last time to serve as a DH in 2008 and hit .260 / .400 / .490, but we saw his mortality towards the end there. Nothing is guaranteed. We never had to watch the one last decline that claims so many players, so this brief moment of ordinary has to suffice. In that way, the colluding owners who kept Barry Bonds out of baseball preserved the memory of his dominance forever.