Young: Barry Bonds and intentional walks, by the numbers

From SABR member Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus on January 29, 2013:

You may know Barry Bonds by the number 762. Something to do with home runs.

While the people who decide such things try to make sense of his legacy, here’s another number: 688. That’s how many intentional walks Bonds drew in his career.

Every year from 1991 to 2007 (except 1999 and 2005), Bonds finished first or second in the National League in that category. He led the league 12 times, including once for seven straight seasons.


But wait, we have more numbers:

This is how many times Greg Maddux intentionally walked Bonds. Nobody put Bonds on more often during his career. It helps that nobody faced him more often. In 157 plate appearances, Bonds hit .265/.376/.508 with nine homers off The Professor.

Honorable mention goes to Jeff Weaver, who gave Bonds six free passes in 19 trips to the plate. Bonds had a 2539 OPS against Weaver, so it was the right thing to do.

Guillermo Mota also deserves credit for perfection. Bonds faced Mota nine times: one homer, eight walks (five intentional). That’s a 5000 OPS.

This is how many intentional walks Magglio Ordóñez drew in his career. Bonds drew more in a single season on six different occasions.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 29, 2013. Last Updated: January 29, 2013.