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Bonds wins his 6th MVP

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Bonds wins his 6th MVP

Postby eftda » Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:55 pm wrote:SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds captured his record sixth National League MVP Award and unprecedented third in a row Tuesday, but to the Giants slugger, this one was the sweetest of them all.

"This award is more special to me than any award I've ever received because it's dedicated to my father," said Bonds, who lost his father, former Giants star Bobby Bonds, to cancer Aug. 23. "He has been my hitting coach my entire life, ever since I was a little kid. I miss him dearly.

"It's a really emotional time for me right now. If I could [I would] really go somewhere on top of a building and just scream as loud as I could and thank God for the ability he's given me and really thank my father for everything he's ever taught me about this game, ever taught me about hitting."
Bonds topped St. Louis' Albert Pujols by a 426-303 point margin and received 28 of 32 first-place votes to Pujols' three. Atlanta's Gary Sheffield received the other first-place vote.

The six MVP honors put Bonds far and away in his own class among baseball players, as no other player has won more than three. Bonds is now one of just four athletes in the four major U.S. sports to win an MVP Award six times. The NBA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the NHL's Gordie Howe each won six, while hockey legend Wayne Gretzky captured nine MVP Awards in his sport.

"I don't know what to say. I'm just blown away," said Bonds. "Those guys are the greatest players. In baseball history, when you're growing up, those are the players you think about -- Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, [Willie] Mays, [Hank] Aaron, everyone forgets about Frank Robinson and his Triple Crowns and all what he's done, [Willie] McCovey and et cetera and so on. To be even in that level of competition, in that level of those legacies is overwhelming, and to be able to say you've won this award six times, there's no words for it."

Bonds' title gives the Giants the league's top individual honor in each of the last four years -- Jeff Kent edged Bonds in 2000 -- a feat never before accomplished in the National League. The Philadelphia A's won the award four times in a row from 1928-33 (no award was given out in 1929 or 1930), while the Yankees did it from 1954-57 and again from 1960-63.

Teammate Jason Schmidt, who finished second in NL Cy Young voting, received one eighth-place vote, one ninth-place vote and two 10th-place votes.

Playing with a heavy heart all season, Bonds also found himself without his secret weapon after his father's death. The 39-year-old revealed that the reason his wife, Liz, always went to every game and sat near the Giants dugout was so that Bobby could call her if he noticed something wrong with his son's swing and she would then relay that information to Bonds.
"I'm training even harder this year than I did last year," said Bonds, who noted he began his offseason regimen two weeks after the season ended. "I really want to see if I can really put things together without my father for the first time.

"This will be the first time in my life I've ever had to play any baseball without my dad, without my dad calling me on the phone, telling me what I'm doing wrong, watching every single game, watching every single at-bat. This is going to be the first time I'm not going to have that person in my ear."

Bonds won his first MVP Award in 1990 with Pittsburgh before narrowly losing the 1991 race to Terry Pendleton. He then won back-to-back awards in 1992 and 1993, the latter his first season with San Francisco. In 2001, after setting the single-season record with 73 homers, he won his unprecedented fourth MVP Award with 30 of 32 first-place votes and then last year captured his first unanimous honor, easily topping Pujols.

The slugger helped the Giants capture the NL West title in 2003 as the club remained in first place every day of the season before falling to the eventual world champion Marlins in the Division Series. But Bonds craves a World Series title and issued a challenge to the Giants to sign a top player to not only put the team over the top but also to take over the headlines for Bonds when he retires.

"I've never seen this organization not have a marquee player when another marquee player is on their way out," said Bonds, whose current contract runs through 2006. "I've always seen this organization keep the fans very, very happy, and I hope that they continue to do so. ... [Signing that player now] gives me an opportunity to teach them what I know and to keep the legacy of the San Francisco Giants going."

Bonds said he would be willing to adjust his contract if it would help bring that marquee player to the team.

"We have been flirting around with this for too long," he said. "We have a beautiful stadium, we have a sold-out stadium on a regular basis. I feel that the fans deserve it, this city deserves it, and I'm tired of looking at the '54 World Series and not in the 2000s. I want to be in a Giant uniform when we win a World Series. ... There's no need to have a poster child anymore -- it's time to win."

Bonds easily led the Majors with a .749 slugging percentage, a .529 on-base percentage and 148 walks, 61 of those intentional, though far more were unofficially intentional. By comparison, Boston's Manny Ramirez finished second with 29 intentional free passes. Only two other entire teams had more intentional walks than Bonds -- the Cardinals with 68 and the Diamondbacks with 63.

Despite the kid-gloves treatment, Bonds still batted .341 and powered 45 home runs, two behind league leader Jim Thome, who finished fourth in voting behind Sheffield. Bonds also drove in 90 runs and scored 111 times despite playing in only 130 games and recording 390 at-bats -- 201 fewer ABs than Pujols, who hit 43 homers and walked 79 times (12 intentional). He tied the NL mark jointly held by himself and Duke Snider by reaching base safely in 58 consecutive games.

Bonds ended the season just two homers shy of tying godfather Mays' 660 for third on the all-time list. He became the charter member of the 500-500 club when he stole his 500th career base in the 11th inning June 23, and he also passed Ruth for second on the all-time walks list with 2,070, 120 free passes shy of Rickey Henderson's Major League record.

good job Barry. I have been watching Barry for some time now and i with his old age, i dont see him winning another mvp. Watch him next year becuase he has only 2-4 years left in him
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Postby Madison » Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:59 pm

Congrats Barry! ;-D
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Postby DieHardCubbie » Wed Nov 19, 2003 12:04 am

Agree...congrats Barry..... ;-D

Should have been Pujols though..... ;-)
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