Excerpts from a profile of Barry Bonds published on September 8, 1985, when Bonds had just left Arizona State and joined the Pirates’ minor league system.
He says he was mostly a mama’s boy. Sons of ballplayers usually are. Dad is always off somewhere, a 12-inch-tall figure in knickers on a television screen or a voice at the end of a telephone line.
“Sometimes you knew he was your father but you didn’t really know him. It was like some lady just said, ‘That’s your dad on television,”’ Barry Bonds said. Maybe that’s why, when you try to find Bobby Bonds in his son Barry, you come up empty.
“There’s not one thing I do as my father does,” Bonds said.
Just out of Arizona State, where he was an All-American and a No. 1 draft pick, Bonds has played center field this summer for Pittsburgh’s Class A team at Prince William, Va.
Bonds might be dynasty material. He batted .330, hit 10 homers. Three came in one game. Two were long shots, 500 feet or more, prodigious pokes for a man who looks lean and who still decries the switch from college aluminum bats to professional wood.