Was Barry Bonds' Performance In The 2004 MLB Season A Record?

Was Barry Bonds Performance In The 2004 MLB Season A Record

Barry Bonds played 22 seasons in the MLB and earned many accolades during his career. The 14-time All-Star led the league in several categories throughout his tenure in the MLB. Bonds set records for home runs, walks, and intentional walks, and he also held many other statistical accomplishments. Bonds won his seventh and final MVP award in 2004, which was one of the most historical seasons of the outfielder’s career. What made the 2004 season so special for Bonds? Who was he as a player before that season? Read on to find out.

Bonds Before 2004

Barry Bonds began his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986. The left fielder broke out in 1990, as he led the league in slugging and OPS to go along with 33 home runs, 114 RBIs, and 52 stolen bases. Bonds earned his first Most Valuable Player Award that season. The 12-time Silver Slugger won the award again in 1992 after leading the league in many offensive categories.

Bonds signed with the Giants in free agency following the 1992 season. The left fielder won his third MVP Award in his first season in San Francisco, as he hit 46 homers, 123 RBIs, and managed many other impressive offensive statistics. Bonds’ offensive greatness continued throughout the 1990s, as he earned many All-Star appearances, Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards during that time. Bonds won four consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards during the 2001-2004 seasons, where his offensive production was at an all-time high. Bonds set the single-season record with 73 home runs in 2001. However, the ballplayer’s 2004 season is considered to be one of the greatest single seasons that the MLB has ever seen.

Bonds’ 2004 Season

Barry Bonds won his all-time leading seventh MVP Award in 2004. The 2004 season was very significant to Bonds, as he passed many milestones while having one of the best seasons of his career. As Bonds increased his already-leading tally for MVPs, he became the oldest winner of the award at 40 years old. The Giant also led the league in many offensive categories that season. The left fielder’s 232 walks set a record for the most by a player in a single season that Bonds had previously set in 2002. The same goes for the 120 intentional walks that Bonds earned in 2004. The MVP also batted .362 and set career highs with a .602 on-base percentage, a .812 slugging percentage, and a 1.422 OPS. Bonds set the all-time record for OBP that season as well.

2004 was also the year that saw the Giant reach rare baseball milestones. Bonds became the third player to reach 700 home runs, as he slashed 45 HRs during the season. The MVP also became the all-time leader in walks that season.

Other Comparable Seasons

Although Bonds’ 2004 season may be one of the greatest individual years for a player in the history of the sport, others have also had fantastic seasons. Aaron Judge hit an American League record 62 home runs in 2022 on the way to his first career MVP. Judge also led the league in many other categories, including OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS. Mickey Mantle won the MVP in 1956 and followed that up with a second award in 1957. Mantle led the league in homers in 1956 but posted career highs in walks, batting average, OBP, and OPS. There have been many great individual seasons in MLB history, but Barry Bonds’ 2004 campaign may be one of the best.