Who Gets into the Hall First, Jeff Kent or Barry Bonds?
Once teammates in San Francisco from ’97-’02, Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds will be forever linked. The two formed a powerful duo in the heart of the Giants order for several years, leading San Francisco into the World Series in ’02 where they got served by the Angels. Both have strong personalities and were known to fight while in San Francisco despite winning many accolades. Bonds finished second in MVP balloting to Kent in 2000 — Kent’s only MVP season — while Bonds went on to win the next four. Each player enjoyed remarkable success offensively throughout his career. Bonds’ aided statistics may only be second to one in the history of the game, Babe Ruth. Kent’s offensive statistics as a second baseman are second to none when it comes to power. Both players were standouts during their time and changed the game. But both were also undoubtedly dicks.
So that begs the question: with Bonds not playing last season and Kent set to retire, who will get into Cooperstown first? It takes five years for retired players to be eligible for the Hall. Bonds will be eligible first but the ominous steroids questions will loom and enough voters might be deterred from electing him. Heck, if they couldn’t all vote for Rickey, Cal, or Tony, how are they going to all vote for Bonds? Then the question becomes whether or not Bonds gets elected in his second year, and whether or not Kent’s poor attitude toward the press will keep him from being elected in his first year. Kent’s going to get there because he doesn’t have any steroids questions surrounding him. But will he make it on the first ballot? It will be close. So the three outcomes are: Bonds gets there first, they get elected in the same year, or Kent gets elected first. I’m going with Kent first. Who you got?