A funny thing happened to Barry Bonds on his way to the all-time MLB HR record. His head ballooned to the size of three bowling balls, his arms swelled to the size of tree trunks, and fans and the media alike began to speculate that Bonds, one of baseball’s greatest players, was jacked up on the juice. Gee, you think?
When not kicking his pregnant wife or refusing to license his likeness, the San Francisco Giant outfielder was supposedly smearing “flaxseed oil” and “rubbing balm” on his chest and neck, according to grand jury testimony he gave in 2003. Bonds denied ever using steroids to prosecutors, which was mighty suspicious, considering that his former trainer, Greg Anderson, was later charged with supplying anabolic steroids to athletes, including baseball players. The U.S. government evidently doubted Bonds’s testimony as well, and, in 2007, indicted him on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.
Now Bonds is the first home-run king to have an asterisk by his record. Even the 756th ball he knocked out of Candlestick Park has an asterisk drawn on it, placed there by designer Marc Ecko before he handed it over to the Hall of Fame. — Charles Bottomley
[Photos: Barry Bonds speaks at a news conference after hitting his 756th home run on Aug. 7, 2007. At left: Bond's historic home run ball.]