On Tuesday the San Francisco Giants announced they’d be retiring Barry Bonds’ No. 25, making him the first player in franchise history to have his number retired by the club despite not being elected to the Hall of Fame. Bonds still has a shot to make the Hall, but after only receiving 56.4 percent of the vote in this last round of HOF voting, Bonds seems like a long shot to get the 75 percent required for induction, considering he’ll only be on the ballot for four more years.
Giants CEO Larry Baer joined Gary & Larry on Wednesday and explained why now is the right time to retire Bonds’ number, and if it’s a reaction to Bonds looking like he won’t be elected to the Hall of Fame.
“We just felt the time was right in that Barry now has a year under his belt back with us, but more importantly this is something that’s been in the back of our minds and we thought was the right thing to do,” Baer said. “Honestly we couldn’t imagine someone else wearing No. 25, given the contributions that Barry has made to the franchise over the years. Seventeen years with us. If you look through the records, he’s number one, or two, or three in pretty much every category for the Giants statistically, and more than that just overall what he’s done for the franchise, that the time was right. Why wait? Nobody’s going to wear No. 25 again, and so we should honor him appropriately.”
Baer wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Giants are doing this in an effort to sway voters.
“We’ve been on the record saying Barry should be in the Hall of Fame, that we think he’s deserving of being in the Hall of Fame all things considered. I can’t say this is part of coordinated effort to take the next four years to try to get the percentage up.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Baer on Bonds, listen from the beginning.