The Short History of Baseball: The 2000s



Hello and welcome to story 11 of 12 of my look at the most significant events in MLB history as well as some of my favourite MLB stories, decade by decade.

In this edition I shall be looking at the 2000's and here is what I shall be talking about: 2000-2004 – Barry Bonds 2001 – The 2001 World Series 2002-2007 – BALCO Scandal 2003 – Aaron Boone and the American League Championship Series

2003 – Steve Bartman and the National League Championship Series 2004 – Reversing the Curse 2007 – Barry Bonds breaks the all-time home run record

2000-2004 – Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds was a complicated, unpopular, egotistical pain in the arse but a baseball player of wonderful talents. By the end of the 1998 season Bonds in his career so far already had 411 home runs, 445 stolen bases, 1917 hits, 3 NL MVP awards, 8 Gold Glove Awards and was an 8 time All-Star. Basically he was a Hall of Fame player, but all this was seemingly not enough for Bonds.

In 1998 he watched in bitter annoyance as the press and fans lauded the efforts of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in their historic home run race whilst, to him, ignoring his all-round qualities.

Before the 1999 season in response to McGwire and Sosa he turned up with a new look. He put on 20 pounds of muscle mass in the offseason. Here’s an example of what he looked like before and then after that season.

I bet you’re wondering what could possibly have happened between seasons to look so much bigger? I’ll just leave that hanging as I think we all know. In the 1999 season he hit home runs at a terrific clip but he missed 60 games that year due to injuries. He hit 34 home runs in 102 games, 1 in 3.

The following year he hit at an even faster clip hitting 49 home runs in 143 games, the biggest single season total of his career and his highest since he hit 46 in 159 games in 1993 which was his first year with the San Francisco Giants after leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bonds was 36 at the end of the 2000 season and usually ballplayers are on their way out by this point but if anything he just kept getting better. It was his record breaking 2001 season that would go down in history however.