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Greg Maddux on Barry Bonds: ‘He was like the easiest guy in the world to pitch to’



There are many words that one would use to describe Barry Bonds, but rarely would anyone call him an easy at bat. Unless you’re Greg Maddux, who said while interviewing on Conversations with Norm, “he was the easiest guy in the world to pitch to because if it mattered you just walked him.”

Both Bonds and Maddux debuted in 1986 and their careers completely overlapped in all, but one season (2008). They first met in 1987 and Bonds sent the first pitch from Maddux out of Wrigley Field. From there, Maddux walked Bonds 24 times and accounted for nine of the slugger’s all-time 688 intentional walks.

“He was so much better than all the other hitters in the game,” Maddux said. “You got to pick your fights. You got to get 27 outs and you got to know where they are. They’re not going to be with him. So you got pick on the other eight guys if you can fight them that way.”

Bonds faced Maddux more than any other pitcher (157 AB) and batted .265 with nine home runs and a .376 OBP against The Professor. Maddux still got to his fair share of Bonds and struck him out 16 times, which is tied with John Smoltz for most by any pitcher.