Barry Bonds wasn’t exactly a hit in his major-league debut
The future home run leader started his career going 0-for-5 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
The eventual owner of Major League Baseball’s home run record started his career going 0-for-5 for the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 30, 1986. Barry Bonds didn’t hit anything in his big-league debut as the Pirates fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-4, in 11 innings at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.
“I went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, I believe,” Bonds recalled for MLB.com last year for the 30-year anniversary.
Bonds did indeed strike out three times and also walked once to begin a record-breaking 22-year career that ended with a historic 762 home runs.
This is how the Chicago Tribune in its National League roundup described Bonds’ first major-league game:
The Pirates’ Barry Bonds, son of Bobby Bonds, made his big-league debut. He played center field and went 0-for-5.
The bases were loaded in the top of the 11th when Steve Sax beat a ground ball to Tony Pena after pitcher Joe DeLeon was slow to rotate over to first. Reggie Williams scored the tie-breaking run. DeLeon was replaced by Pat Clements, who walked Ken Landreaux, giving the Dodgers a two-run lead they would not relinquish.
Bonds spent the first seven seasons of his career in Pittsburgh and helped the Pirates win the National League East in 1990, ’91 and ’92. The team lost in the National League Championship Series each of those years.
“Bummer we didn’t win the whole thing, but we were a pretty good team,” Bonds told MLB.com. “That was the best, when we finally figured out how to win.”
After the 1992 season, which was the last winning season Pittsburgh had before 2013, Bonds joined the San Francisco Giants for the last 15 years of his career.
Bonds returned to the Giants in March as a community ambassador and a tutor for prospects.