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Bonds joins Bay Area hall, passes on Cooperstown talk | Barry Bonds

Bonds joins Bay Area hall, passes on Cooperstown talk

POSTED BY: Barry Bonds in NEWS

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though his last home run came in 2007, Barry Bonds keeps tabs on modern celebrations. So when the former Giants star walked into a hotel ballroom Monday night to pose next to his bronze plaque, Bonds kept with the times:

He whipped out his cell phone and took a selfie.

"Why not? That's the way of the new world, right?" Bonds joked.

Other than it taking several tries to get the focus just right, the seven-time MVP had a smooth night at the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Bonds' induction class included his former manager, Dusty Baker, as well as Olympic skier Jonny Moseley, golf champion Roger Maltbie and the late Warriors owner, Franklin Mieuli.

Bonds, looking sleek now that he's an avid cyclist, had no desire to talk about what his Bay Area honor might mean for that other Hall of Fame -- the one in Cooperstown. The all-time home run leader has never come close to induction there because voters have avoided any player under the cloud of steroids.

Asked about being omitted from the Baseball Hall of Fame, Bonds smiled.

"If I sat up here and I talked about it, it's me against ... how many of you guys in here?" At this point, Bonds scanned all the notebooks, microphones and TV cameras surrounding him.

"So the story can come out every way it can. See, I learned that lesson about staying out of those conversations and enjoying what's in front of me."

Instead, the 14-time All-Star focused on an induction that cemented his place as a Bay Area sports family. Barry said his father, Bobby Bonds -- also a former Giants All-Star outfielder -- would have been "elated."

"I try to explain to people: My family -- counting Willie (Mays) as my godfather because we've always considered Willie family -- we've been entertaining the Bay Area since 1958," he said. "My father came along to entertain it, and I came back to entertain."

Baker, too, professed an appreciation for local sports history, having studied the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame plaques that are on display at San Francisco International Airport.

"The first thing that went through my mind was: 'Man, I'm going to walk through the airport and see me,' " Baker said before the ceremony at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. "I'd always stopped and read about Joe 'The Jet' Perry and Y.A. Tittle ... It's just hard to see yourself in the same light as those guys."

Baker was the Giants manager for 10 seasons starting in 1993. The team went 840-715 (.540) during his tenure in San Francisco and won the National League pennant in 2002.

Mieuli, one of the most colorful franchise owners in Bay Area history, was 89 when died in 2010. He is best known as the principal owner of the Warriors from 1962-86, presiding over 10 playoff appearances and the team's lone NBA title in 1975.

Mieuli was popular with fans in part because of his eccentric personality. He sported a bushy beard and war a deerstalker cap ("That little Sherlock Holmes cap," as Baker called it). Al Attles, the coach of those '75 champions, was on-hand Monday in Mieuli's honor.

"I couldn't be happier," Attles said. "He was an outstanding owner, but the most important thing is that he was a much better person.

"I think fans connected with him because, in my mind, he considered himself one of the people. He cared about the team. He cared about the players. He would do anything to make them happy."

Maltbie reached the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame after a challenging start as a golfer. At James Lick High in San Jose, he had a hard time beating one of his school mates, future PGA player Forrest Fezler.

"This guy was two years older and he beat me. Every. Single. Day," Maltbie said. "And I guess I'm just wired in a way that I was going to keep trying and trying and trying until I beat him. I mean, I worked harder because of him."

Maltbie grew up to capture five wins on the PGA Tour. His triumphs include the 1976 Memorial Tournament, in which he defeated Hale Irwin on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff. In all, Maltbie had 55 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, including fourth in the 1987 Masters -- his best finish at a major. He enjoyed a second career as a fun-loving reporter and analyst for NBC Sports.

Moseley, the youngest of the crowd by far -- he was born in 1975 -- was still old enough to look back at a lasting legacy. He grew up in Tiburon and won a gold medal in the men's mogul at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

In doing so, Moseley used his signature move -- the 360 mute-grab -- a trick he borrowed from the snowboarding crowd. Though Moseley met with some resistance with some of his flash, that trick and others like it have become commonplace among mogul skiers.

"I do feel like I did leave my mark," Moseley said. "I kind of hung it out there. ... That's what I get credit for, and I'll take it."


Daniel Brown | San Jose Mercury News Sports | May 11, 2105



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