Count me among those who believe there will be a Barry Bonds statue standing outside AT&T Park one day. San Francisco still has that streak of rebellious counterculture, Bonds is too much of a hometown hero and he's arguably the biggest reason that jewel of a ballpark got built in the first place.
It may not happen today or tomorrow or even in five years, but it will happen one day.
If one group on the Internet has its way, however, that day will come as soon as 2015. The folks behind BarryBronze.com have opened a Kickstarter aiming to raise $60,000 to commission an eight-foot tall statue of the controversial slugger. They're at $26,958 as of Friday morning and have 19 more days for a shot at adding a bronze Bonds to existing statues of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda.
Of course, there's the not-so-small issue of the Giants accepting a Bonds statue from the group and the team didn't comment on the possibility last month. But Hayden Simmons, the group's leader, told SFGate.com that they're serious about the effort to honor a player who's been snubbed by the Hall of Fame so far.
“We grew up watching Barry and he just provided us with so much entertainment,” Simmons told SFGate. “I can understand that he may not be the most popular person outside of the Bay Area, but for us he’s a legend.”
They have already found a sculptor and are motivated by the success of a similar group in Detroit that raised more than $67,000 to get a statue of Robocop commissioned.
“I mean, if Detroit can get one for Robocop, we should be able to get one for Barry,” Simmons said.
The citizens of Detroit raised over $67,000 (surpassing the Kickstarter goal of $50,000) to crowdfund a tribute to the famous crimefighter. But it's worth noting that the statue still hasn't been completed three years into the process and that's with Mr. Cop steering clear of BALCO during his patrolling days.
One assumes getting Bonds on AT&T's grounds will be a tad tougher, even if San Franciscans point out that Robocop was also guilty of being artificially enhanced.
If Bonds and Giants fans are up to the challenge, though, the Kickstarter offers a variety of contribution levels from $5 (which gets you an official Barry Bronze statue sticker) to $125 (a vote for the pose of the statue) to $5,000 (getting to help pull the sheet off the statue when it's finally unveiled).
The group says all pledges will be refunded should a "great location" for the statue not be found.
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- Barry Bonds