#72 Bobby Bonds, - OF
Bobby Bonds hit 37 homeruns for the Angels in 1977. This tied the then-franchise mark set by Leon Wagner in 1962. Only Vlad, Troy Glaus and Reggie Jackson have hit more in one season in an Angel uniform. Nice company. Bobby might have cracked our Top 100 on the strength of his prodigious `77 campaign, but he moves up a few notches to #72 for being part of the December 5, 1977 trade that brought Brian Downing to Anaheim.
The fabulous Rob McMillin offers a survey of the senior Bonds as a player...
Bobby Bonds is these days most famous for being the answer to a trivia question, "Which father-son combination has hit the most home runs in the majors?" It's too bad, because his career was a fascinating one, if marred by failure to reach the potential many claimed awaited him in the majors. Famously, his first hit in the Show was a grand slam, against Dodgers reliever Jack Purdin on June 25, 1968, during a 9-0 blowout. He came up from then-Giants AAA affiliate Phoenix leading the PCL with a .367 batting average. Bobby would go on to hit 30 or more home runs for five clubs.
Unlike his phenomenal son, Bobby struck out prodigiously -- 189 times in 1970 alone. A knee injury caused his production to falter late in his career with the Giants, which precipitated a trade to the Yankees, who traded him to California the next year. It didn't matter to the Angels, who insisted on Bonds' inclusion on a trade for outfielder Mickey Rivers and starter Ed Figueroa.
Bonds only played for the Angels for two years, the first year hobbled by a hand injury which finally ended his season in August, 1976. But he came smartly back in 1977 with his third 30-30 season. The Angels traded him to the White Sox in the 1977 offseason for Angel mainstay Brian Downing, Chris Knapp, and starter Dave Frost. The Chisox quickly sent him on a nomadic journey to Texas, Cleveland, St. Louis, and the Cubs. A three-time All Star, it's arguable that had he stayed healthier, he might have been a borderline Hall of Fame candidate.
Read more of Rob's daily baseball updates and reporting at his 6-4-2 L.A. Baseball Blog.