Barry Bonds Gets Intentionally Walked Four Times in a Game: This Day in Sports History

Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds / Greg Trott/Getty Images

Barry Bonds was feared like few hitters in baseball history during his prime slugging years in the early-to-mid-2000s. Nothing proved that more when, on May 1st, 2004, Bonds set an MLB record when he was intentionally walked four times in one game.

The Giants were playing the Marlins at home. Bonds was in the early stages of his second consecutive MVP season; about a month into the season, he was batting .463 with a 1.111 slugging percentage. He was, without a doubt, the most feared hitter in baseball. Miami treated him as such by choosing to walk him four times in five at-bats. No one has yet to top that number in one game to this day.

We'll never see teams treat any other individual player like they did Bonds again. He holds just about every record for walks in the books. In totality, Bonds walked 2,558 times in his career, which is quite a bit more than second-place Ricky Henderson by 368. He was intentionally walked 688 times, besting Albert Pujols by 392 intentional walks.

We may never see a slugger like Bonds again in general, given the fact that his statistical achievements are rather tainted by steroid use. But even if a natural-born Hall of Fame slugger steps onto the field in the future, teams simply won't walk them that much. In the days of analytics, efficiency is king, and it is extremely inefficient to give the opponent a free baserunner every time one player steps up to the plate.

Perhaps one day, someone will play long enough to surpass Bonds' walk records, or even approach his home run title. But between his reputation and effectiveness, there may not be a more feared hitter in history at his peak Barry Bonds.