The San Francisco Giants will retire Bonds’ number 25 in a ceremony before tomorrow’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Which, given that he started his career in Pittsburgh is appropriate. Bonds, of course, wore numbers 7 and 24 as a Pirate. His father, Bobby Bonds, wore 25 for the Giants between 1968 and 1974.
Bonds will be the 12th Giants player to have his number retired, following Bill Terry (3), Mell Ott (4), Carl Hubbell (11), Monte Irvin (20), Orlando Cepeda (30), Juan Marichal (27), Willie Mays (24), Willie McCovey (44) and Gaylord Perry (36). Christy Mathewson and John McGraw received an equivalent honor, though they played and managed before jersey numbers were instituted.
Bonds hit 586 of his 762 career home runs while wearing number 25 for the Giants and won five of his seven NL MVP Awards as a Giant. While the Hall of Fame has shunned Bonds and while the Giants themselves were slow to warm back up to him in the years immediately following his retirement, the player and the club have been far closer in recent years. In any event, no player has worn 25 since he retired following the 2007 season, so it was always expected that this would happen.