Barry Bonds Quotes

Insightful and Controversial: Memorable Words of Baseball's Most Polarizing Figure
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

For nearly three decades, Barry Bonds has been one of the most talked-about figures in Major League Baseball. From his 22 years as a top-tier professional athlete to achieving the title of Home Run King and being an eight-time All-Star, he’s certainly left a mark on the game. But it’s not just his athletic feats that have captured our hearts (and minds)—it’s also his iconic personality. With witty banter and biting one-liners, Barry Bonds has said some truly unforgettable things throughout his career–and we’ve compiled some of them in this blog post!

Whether you’re an avid baseball fan or you only recently started following the sport, this post will let you reflect on some of his greatest quotes and provide a bit of insight into his thoughts and outlook on life and the game of baseball. Read further to learn more about the wisdom behind Barry Bond’s timeless words!

Best Quotes

“Sometimes I surprise my own damn self.”

“Everyone has their time and era, … In all sports.”

“I was born to hit a baseball. I can hit a baseball.”

“Luckily, I’m still playing. Thank God I’m still out there.”

“Those boos really motivate me to make something happen.”

“I never stop looking for things to try and make myself better. “

“There is nothing better than walking out and hitting a home run.”

“I need to win, man. I’ve had numbers, but I’ve never won a World Series.”

“It’s called talent. I just have it. I can’t explain it. You either have it or you don’t.”

“I want to be able to play with my kids, man. There’s a lot more to life than baseball.”

“But to be the best, you must face the best. And to overcome your fear, you must deal with the best.”

“That’s my plan, that’s why I’m here, … There’s no doubt in my mind I can play the game at a high level.”

“It was heartwarming, wonderful. It’s our crowd. It’s our town. These are our people. It made me feel great.”

“Everyone in society should be a role model, not only for their own self-respect, but for respect from others.”

“I like to be against the odds. I’m not afraid to be lonely at the top. With me, it’s just the satisfaction of the game. Just performance.”

“I want my kids to have lesser of a headache than I have. Somebody has to take on the bullets, and if it’s me that’s fine with me.”

“I felt great, man. Just seeing everybody, all the fans out there, it was an incredible feeling, just incredible. There’s no place like home, there really isn’t.”

“I want to be part of Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame, but I don’t want to be part of the kind of Hall of Fame that’s based on voters’ beliefs and assumptions.”

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m not jealous of anybody. I’m proud of what Mark McGwire did; I’m proud of what Sammy did. They lifted the game.”

“As long as I’m healthy, I want to give it a try. It might not be here. But I’d hope the Giants would still want me. I’d like to finish my career in this shirt.”

“Right now, this record, everybody’s thrilled about it. Everybody wants to make their opinions about it, and it’s all good. I’m happy with it. Make your opinions. I’m going to go out there and play ball and just kick butt.”

“When I hit it, I couldn’t believe I hit it. Everything was in slow motion. It looked like it was stopped in midair. Then I saw it went past those people (on the left field wall) and I thought, ‘Wow! I did it!’”

“The timing is just not right. I have too many other responsibilities, too many things I have to take care of that are important to me. I owe it to the city (of San Francisco), my knee, my team, the fans and my family. I have to put my greatest effort right now into all of that.”

“There’s some things I got to prove to myself first. I take a lot of pride playing on the field. If I could still go out there and help the team, then that’s what I’m going to do. If I can’t do that anymore, then I’ll say goodbye.”

“I feel my time in baseball has come and gone. I feel like I had a great career. I had a lot of fun and have a lot of great memories. At one point in time, I’ll be able to tell it all. Right now that’s in the past. I see things differently. I more want to help.”

Famous Quotes

“I don’t sign for white people.”

“My career is an open book, but my life is not.“

“There’s not too many rich black people in this world.”

“No. I don’t have to. I mean I’m a good enough ballplayer as it is.”

“Every pitcher can beat you, it doesn’t matter how good you are.”

“Young players need to know how to take care of themselves for life after baseball.”

“I think of myself as ‘catching’ the ball with my bat and letting the pitcher supply the power.”

“It’s not the name that makes the player. It’s the player. If all sons of players could play in the major leagues, they’d all be up here, but they’re not.”

“As a fan, sure, you might be a little bit disappointed. I owe my teammates first, but, I will give you the common courtesy and respect of showing up.”

“I don’t know if steroids are going to help you in baseball. I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe steroids can help eye-hand coordination [and] technically hit a baseball.”

“There are other issues a lot more serious, and you guys (the media) should direct your attention toward taking care of that, … Ask yourselves how much you’ve donated to Katrina (relief). Everybody should be pointing the fingers at themselves.”

“I’m clean, I’ve always been clean. But it never ends. It seems like every reporter from last season to this season has reported and opened up a new can of (expletive). And I haven’t even been to spring training. At least let me get to spring training and (expletive) up before you crucify me.”

“I’ve never cared about records anyway. So what difference does it make? Right now, I’m telling you, I don’t even want to play next year. Baseball is a fun sport. But I’m not having fun. I love the game of baseball itself, but I don’t like what it’s turned out to be. I’m not mad at anybody. It’s just that right now I am not proud to be a baseball player.”

Baseball Quotes

“Baseball is just my job.”

“I don’t want to be a Major League coach.”

“We played a great game. They just played better.”

“It was nice. It felt good to hit the ball good today.”

“It’s all right. I’ll turn it around. I ain’t hitting anything.”

“It was good. I finally got to swing the bat a little bit more.”

“I did have it. It just didn’t stay between the yellow lines.”

“I feel good, I was hitting the ball good in batting practice.”

“That’s the first time somebody threw something like that.”

“We can talk about baseball or we don’t have a conversation.”

“I don’t think it’s important how many at-bats you get in spring.”

“I was wondering where the ball was. I was trying to get us a run.”

“We’ll be the oldest outfield in baseball history. A real Medicare unit.”

“We’ve got a new center fielder, and guys have to know how he plays.”

“Right now, I’m just day-to-day, trying to get through the rest of the season.”

“This is probably my last season. Hopefully it will be a good one. We’ll see.”

“(Eckstein’s) one of my favorite players ever, … I told him that he’s a gift from God.”

“I guess I’m in (the Hall of Fame) then, huh? Otherwise, I really don’t have a comment.”

“It’s standing around that’s hard. It’s just the waiting. When I’m running around, I’m loose.”

“I feel good. I’ve been hitting for a while now. I’m comfortable. I’m just trying to get consistent.”

“If Opening Day was tomorrow and I had to go out there, I’d go out there. It’s what I get paid to do.”

“I want to be out there with the team, but half the team is playing with other teams. I want us to play together.”

“I was just happy for Kevin, man. He went out and got three hits today. That’s pretty good for his debut.”

“I am going to speak with Felipe, because at this point in my career it doesn’t work for me to be second bat.”

“They’re doing so well, I don’t want to mess it up. I might just stay here (rehabilitating his knee in L.A.) for a while.”

“His swing is intact. The hand-eye coordination is intact. The bat is ready. The other stuff, I don’t want to get into.”

“My play is fine. I haven’t shot anyone yet, so I am doing pretty good. I haven’t killed anyone — gone psycho.”

“They asked me how I felt and I said I felt fine. So they said we’ll put you out there for three innings.”

“It’s fine. The knee is good. … I’ve just got to get my strength back. My legs are fine. I just took a couple weeks off from training.”

“As long as it goes over the yellow line, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to keep winning — we’re chasing (San Diego).”

“I don’t judge them. I have to concentrate on baseball. I leave that up to you guys to make those statements in the paper.”

“Why would I have that? I’ve never had a realistic game number ever in my career. If you’re in the lineup, you play. If you’re not, you don’t.”

“It’s good to know my instincts haven’t gone anywhere, … With each swing I felt more and more comfortable in there. I’d have to admit that I was satisfied with the results.”

“I want to get my legs strong again, … Hopefully I’ll train hard all winter. I can hit it, but I don’t feel like I feel when I’m strong. I can tell out there. I’m older now. It’s harder.”

“Why do we have to go with that every time? Can we just talk about baseball? Please? Please? Please? Can we just talk baseball? Please? Can we? I appreciate it.”

“Winn has played phenomenal, … I mean, just phenomenal. That goes to show you have to have a leadoff hitter. He’s been the guy who’s been putting pressure on.”

“When I was playing, it would be whatever role I wanted. Now it’s whatever they ask me to do, which I kind of like better.”

“Do I want to play at my level of performance or do I want to be satisfied with something else? I want to be able to play the way I was when I left off.”

“I feel great. I’m just doing what the Giants tell me right now. I don’t want to make any predictions about the future, but I feel like I’m getting closer. The swelling is pretty stable.”

“Matt Morris pitched a great game, guys got some key hits and I didn’t really have much to do with it. I just wish we scored earlier and not put that much pressure on him.”

“It’s a relief now to be able to stand next to my godfather and finally feel like I’ve accomplished something in the game of baseball.”

“I feel good that we won because we always have bad times here in Colorado. They always seem to come back and beat us. I’m just glad we won, that’s it.”

“It’s good when you win. It just makes it a little more gratifying, that’s all it does, … I can hit a baseball. I’ve never had any problems doing that. I’m trying to do it when we win games.”

“That doesn’t push me at all, the game pushes me to come back, … they’re doing so well, I don’t want to mess it up.”

“I wouldn’t bother. I’d call it quits. Wait till October next year, then I’d quit. … A normal person can’t go through that and still come back and play. You’d have to wait a year at least.”

“I have a .300 average. It’s fun right now. We’re playing good, our team is good, everybody’s happy right now. It’s just a good feeling all the way around right now.”

“Today’s home run (number seventy), I was just in shock. The chance of hitting a home run off a guy (Dennis Springer) who throws that slow is slim. I just said, `What else can you give me, God? Enough is enough.’”

“This division is a little… different. It’s the first time I’ve seen this in the history of baseball. But you can’t take two games and start riding a white pony. You’ve got to keep winning games, don’t look back.”

“When my name was first announced for the WBC, my gut reaction was that I wanted to play. After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to remove myself from the upcoming World Baseball Classic roster.”

“I’m an expert in baseball and I don’t even have a job. I’m an expert, more so than a lot of people out there. It should be my career until I’m dead. I should be one of the instructors. I think I’ve earned it.”

“Making the Hall of Fame, would it be something that’s gratifying because of what I’ve sacrificed? Sure. Baseball has been a big part of our lives. We’ve sacrificed our bodies. It’s the way we made our living.”

“I have been playing catch and in the next few weeks I hope to be in the cage doing some hitting. There is a good possibility I could be back in September with the team but if not I will definitely be in the 2006 line-up.”

“I feel pretty good, … To not swing a baseball bat in almost a year, no spring training, and go to a college and hit in a cage for a week and come out here and face major league pitching … like I try to tell these guys, ‘If I give you a little, it’s a lot in this stage.’”

“The only number I care about is Babe Ruth’s. Because as a left-handed hitter, I wiped him out. That’s it. And in the baseball world, Babe Ruth’s everything, right? I got his slugging percentage and I’ll take his home runs and that’s it. Don’t talk about him no more.”

“When you’ve got the excitement I’ve created — my home runs are a lottery ticket — then you’ve got a city that’s excited, … If you win, you’re going to create excitement, but you’ve got to win games. You can’t not win and expect people to come to baseball games.”

“Right now, I’m just trying to get back on the field. I don’t care about this whole record thing. I just care about doing the best job that I can. It’s hard, man, when baseball is all I’ve ever known and all I’ve ever done, to hit the switch and dim the lights a little bit.”

“After the announcement I received a lot of criticism as well as concern from fans and my family and friends. The obvious objections were about my health and whether or not I would be ready to play. In the end, I decided that I can’t take any chances that might jeopardize my season.”

“Especially off Billy, it’s crazy. I haven’t hit a ball like that off him ever. Ever. … It was a big boost for us because it tied the game. They came back and beat us. It shows what kind of team they are. We played good against them. Right now, they’re probably one of the best teams on the East.”

“I don’t think you’re going to see me out there this year, … That’s the reality of the situation. I’m improving. I’m happy with the progress. I’m working out hard on the exercise bike and the elliptical machine, but I’m just not there yet. The last thing I want is to get back on the field and be out again a week later.”

“I felt I didn’t want to let the city down. That’s the feeling that you have out there, the appreciation of the standing ovation and the cheers, and praying you don’t let them (fans) down. You want to put on a good performance for them and bring that whole atmosphere back here in San Francisco, and get everybody excited.”

Insightful Quotes

“My mind changes as each day goes by.”

“I think everyone needs to be a role model, period.”

“I always look around. I always do. I don’t listen to them.”

“I’m an adult. I don’t have to react to anything if I choose not.”

“Both are illegal and immoral. The tactic of obtaining stories by breaking the law is disturbing.”

“If the season’s over, might as well. I’m still trying to get healthy. It’d be the smart thing to do. I came back to try and give (the team) a push. It just may not be enough time.”

“What’s my job description? That’s what I’m doing at that time. No, I don’t forget (what is said). I will never forget. I forgive you but I don’t forget. I forgive everybody.”

“If that’s what they want to do, embarrass themselves, then that’s on them. That has nothing to do with me at all.”

“We’ve got a winning record, so it’s not a big deal. There are times you’re going to be a part of it and times you’re not going to be a part of it.”

“You know what? There are still other issues that are more important, … Right now, people are losing lives, don’t have homes, I think that’s a little more serious. A lot more serious.”

“The only person I can measure myself against is myself. It’s all up to me to do my job and prove that I’m doing it at the ability that I feel that I should be doing it, contributing to the ball club.”

Motivational Quotes

“You get a little stiff, and it’s important to overcome that.”

“Age is how you feel. If you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to do the same things. You may not do it as often. But you can still do it.”

“If you want to be on top, you’ve got to have broad shoulders, because as fast as you get there, the faster they try to knock you down.”

“If that’s what they want to do, embarrass themselves, then that’s on them. That has nothing to do with me at all.”

“My workouts continue to be positive and I feel that I’m getting closer to my goal of joining my teammates this season.”

“You can’t hurt me any more than you’ve already hurt me. I’m going to take it because there’s so many people who depend on me.”

“As long as guys around you keep swinging the bat good, they’ve got to come to you eventually. You’ve just got to be patient. … That’s how you win games. Everybody has to do it.”

“As it is every season, my main goal and main focus is for our team to win a championship. I need to be in the best physical shape for the 2006 season — in what could possibly be my last season.”

“Everybody wants to get to the playoffs. You can just see it in the dugout that everybody wanted to win. If you get behind, sometimes you can just give up. No one gave up. Our pitching did a great job.”

“I have a chef who makes sure that I’m getting the right amounts of carbs, proteins and fats throughout the day to keep me at my max performance level.”

“He kind of inspired me to get back, … Things we say to young kids, this young man was saying to me. It motivated me.”

“As an athlete, you only have so much time. The window only has so much time and then it closes. You have to take care of yourself the best you can.”

“I know when I’m off alignment. I know when my body is out of adjustment. If your body is there, then mentally, you’ll be there. If your body feels good, then your mind feels good and your are going to feel better about your game.”

“The record is Hank’s until someone passes it. Whoever that person is, I wish them well. If it happens to be me, that’s it. It’s just having the opportunity. You hope you can inspire some little kid somewhere down the road to say, ‘I want to break Hank’s record, I want to break Barry Bonds’ record.’ That’s all the record really means to me.”

“During the past 15 days, my knee has been feeling great. I was out on the track doing sprints, agility movements, throwing and exercises to help increase my stamina. Even with some fluid remaining, my knee has been handling the pressure and I’ve been able to work through it. My workouts continue to be positive and I feel that I’m getting closer to my goal of joining my teammates this season.”

Life Quotes

“I don’t know what my future is.”

“I will never comment because I choose not to.”

“Guess my weight and win a sawdust-filled bear.”

“I went to jump and the wall hit me in the shoulder.”

“Truthfully, I felt I didn’t want to let the city down.”

“I felt good. I have sun. Every day I wake up it’s sunny.”

“I won’t even look at it. For what? There’s no need to.”

“It’s working real good. I hope it stays like that all year.”

“Right now, I’m just trying to keep my mind clear, that’s it.”

“I’m a very private person. My life story isn’t for everybody.”

“Losing dad (Bobby Bonds) was the worst thing in the world.”

“It’s not unrealistic, but now it’s just the time of how I recover.”

“He was just heckling. I just told him to sit down and enjoy it.”

“When I finish playing, I think I’d like to coach college baseball.”

“I don’t ever remember having any bad times here in Pittsburgh.”

“It’s tough. I’m trying to put a lot of stuff together in a short period of time.”

“I might not play again this weekend, … That’s how much pain I’m in right now.”

“They gave me the silent treatment. It took me back quite a few years. It was fun.”

“I don’t know what you guys say, but at home, life is way different from baseball.”

“I think we’ll probably have a sellout. This thing is probably all over television right now.”

“My life is in shambles. It is crazy. It couldn’t get any crazier. I’m just trying to stay sane.”

“It’s been a long time. I can’t even remember. What’s the impact of me going to Tucson? None!”

“I was smiling. He showed me up out there. He hit one further than I did. I must be getting old.”

“Members of Congress, particularly Tom Davis, can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

“I still have a whole bunch of cobwebs to work out down here. I have to be careful right now.”

“I’ve always played for the acceptance of my godfather (Willie Mays) and father (Bobby Bonds).”

“I’ve been able to see that other side of the fence. I don’t think the transition will be that difficult.”

“I want to thank you all for your e-mails and the words of support and encouragement yesterday.”

“I could learn how to press ‘Record’ on a tape recorder and write for a newspaper or a magazine.”

“Two weeks ago things didn’t look too promising but the past 10 days my rehab has taken a turn for the better.”

“I’ve been in L.A. for the most part in 90-degree weather, … Coming up here to San Francisco and the cold … I just want to see how I come out of it.”

“I don’t know if the record is going to happen. I don’t really think about the record. There are other things I worry about.”

“I thought I would be a lot more sore, thought I’d have a lot harder time than I have. I’m pleased, because I’m not really that sore.”

“I was young and arrogant, … and he told me so. But you can talk to Bruce. He treats you the way you treat him. And that’s what you respect.”

“I’m going to go back to the Bay Area, this is my thing, and I’m just going to open my own school of baseball. Find a facility, find a place and just teach kids. That’s what I want to do.”

“Serra High school, to me, was my most enjoyable time for me in my entire life. That was the only time I was free. We just played baseball because it was fun.”

“I was a momma’s boy. I didn’t get anything from Dad, except my body and baseball knowledge. The only time I spent with him was at the ballpark.”

“I’d like to help educate kids about the Major Leagues – what to anticipate, what to expect, what they’ll need to do to prepare themselves.”

“They are the exact wristbands I wore in 2004 and 2005. They’re exactly the same. They can’t come after me now if they didn’t come after me in 2004.”

“You guys are re-running stories. This is old stuff. It’s like watching Sanford and Son . It’s almost comical, basically…. Are you guys jealous, upset, disappointed, what?”

“I think some of the pressure comes from the expectations of other people. Like if your father played baseball, they expect you to be the big lifesaver or something when you play a sport.”

“You wanted me to jump off the bridge; I finally have jumped. You wanted to bring me down; you’ve finally brought me and my family down. You’ve finally done it. So now go pick a different person.”

“Yes, Todd is the one that told me a few years ago that I could improve my performance by using The Cream and The Clear. He told me it was just an ointment that would help my arthritis, and I firmly believe that.”

“I don’t even know the guy. Tell him he’s an idiot. Somebody said he wanted a piece of me. Tell him I’m at 24 Willie Mays Plaza and he can come get me anytime he wants to — with pleasure. Don’t insult my family.”

“So what (are) they going to say now? Are they going to say, ‘Wow, I guess it can’t be steroids anymore because he didn’t lose all that weight?’ Or are they going to be mad that I’m fat? Come on, which one is it?”

“San Francisco is my home. That’s the love of my life right there. Thinking that there could be a possibility, just hypothetically, to go somewhere else and DH or something like that, I really don’t want to think about that at this time right now.”

“We talked about my knee and took a few X-rays. After looking at the X-rays, we decided it would be a good idea to drain the knee. This draining is to make sure there isn’t any infection and that I’m healing properly. Overall everything looks positive.”

“I feel way better than last year. I’ll probably go through some issues wanting to play every day. I’d better do it soon to find out. I can score. I’m not going to steal. … It felt great, man. Every day is a new day. I’ll see how I feel.”

“That’s what my goal is right now and I expect to be ready, … But the doctors are telling me playing this year might put that in jeopardy, that I could undo any gains I’ve already made. No matter how much I want to play, I’m not going to let that happen.”

“Ha! Do you guys believe that? Do you guys know my life history a little bit? One, you insult my children, who are half-white. I was married to a woman who was white, so let’s get real. I don’t even know the guy. Tell him he’s an … idiot.”

“If it makes them happy to go out of their way to destroy me or whatever they want to try to do, go right ahead. It doesn’t bother me. You can’t hurt me anymore than you’ve already hurt me. You can’t hurt my family anymore than you’ve already hurt them.”

“I’ve played a long time. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. We’ll tackle that bridge when it happens. I’ll sit back and talk with my family and take a long, long vacation and see how I feel. I could do that and get in the wintertime and say, ‘That’s enough,’ and somewhere in January wake up and say, ‘That’s not enough.’”

Which quotes stood out to you?

To round up, Barry Bonds’ journey in professional baseball has been a remarkable one, filled with both successes and failures. But no matter what happened, the San Francisco fan favorite has always had something to say about it – sometimes negatively, but more often than not characteristically humorous or thought-provoking. From his tales of youth to his All-Star career, Barry Bonds left us a great legacy that can still be enjoyed by generations to come. Even years after his retirement from the game he loves and became so famous for, he continues to deliver one-liners—as we’ve seen throughout this blog post!

It’s truly amazing to contemplate everything he’s managed to do and achieve during his long and successful time as a pro. So which of the quotes mentioned in this post stood out most to you? Take some time to think about them and be sure to share this blog post around so you can let us know what you think!