Barry Bonds says he took Marlins job to honor his father and Willie Mays
New Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds credits his late father, Bobby Bonds, and godfather, Willie Mays for giving him the motivation to return to baseball.
“It was something I had no intention of doing,“ Bonds said in an interview with MLB.com. “And then I started thinking about my dad and everything he taught me. I started thinking about [manager] Jim Leyland and 1986 with the Pirates. We had all these kids sprinkled with a few veterans.”
Bonds went on to say that taking the coaching job was something he felt that he needed to try.
“Baseball, that’s my thing, that’s who I am. With everything I've done as a hitter, I'm the best at that. I wouldn’t have been able to do it unless the opportunity camp up. So I figured, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it the way my dad would have done it. I’ve got to be in the trenches with them,” Bonds said.
Bonds also discussed his his doubts when it came to returning to the sport. The former outfielder is a controversial name in Major League Baseball after he was prosecuted for allegedly using performance enhancing drugs.
“I didn’t ever think this was something I wanted to do,” Bonds said, but his mother encouraged him take the position. “Why not? You may hate it, but if you don’t try you’ll never know. You might love it and you might be one of the best teachers who ever lived. You don’t know unless you get in the box and find out,” she told Bonds.
Bonds is currently on a one year contract with the Marlins. He is not sure how long the job will last, but he’s focusing on the present.
“I think it’s a good thing. I think what I’m doing is a good thing. Right now, I’m just so happy about being back,” Bonds said.