November 20, 2008
Following in the Stew's fine tradition of groundbreaking investigative journalism, occasional BLS contributor and Bugs & Cranks writer David Chalk actually tracked down the guy with the Barry Bonds jersey tattoo on his back to ask him the story behind it.
Turns out the fellow's name is Gary O'Brien, but he also goes by the YouTube name "King of Steak." He lives in Syracuse, works at a steakhouse (hence the nickname), has a poker and baseball card addiction and is also an "aspiring artist. Without further delay, here's exactly what Gary was thinking:
DC: So when did you get the tattoo and what inspired it?
KOS: I got it after the 2007 season ended, after Bonds put his name on top of all the record books. I always wanted a Bonds tattoo because he has been a hero of mine since around 1992, when I was small.
DC: Will you get it filled in with ink?
KOS: The 25 and the Bonds (name) will be filled in with some orange at some point, and the blank right side is going to be the Giants scoreboard showing his final home run number. I didn't get that started yet until we know if he's done for sure.
KOS: Well, in a normal shop your looking probably like $600 to $1000, but my friend Jay Bailey who does them from his home is really talented and he does all my tattoos. So he charged me $300. The best part is that when I told my friend I was going to get it he bet me $1,000 I wasn't going to get it. So I actually profited $700.
DC: And your girlfriend was/is cool with this? Friends, family?
KOS: My friends and family and fiancee know by now I'm going to do what I want, plus they know my never-dying love for Bonds, so this wasn't a shock.
DC: You planning on going to a lot of ballgames shirtless?
KOS: With my physique I don't plan on going any places shirtless.
DC: Did you think somebody would sign him in '08, and how disappointed were you that nobody did?
KOS: I was really surprised. In fact I lost some money in bets when he didn't get picked up. I believe if the
Devil Rays signed him he would have got that championship ring he's always wanted.
DC: Dude, that's what I told everybody on the Stew back in April. If only they'd listened to me.
KOS: I actually think I read that article when you first wrote it. He would have been without a doubt the best DH in the AL. We still have to see what happens with the union about the alleged collusion.
DC: Where are you from? What baseball teams do you root for?
KOS: I am from Syracuse, New York. A Bonds fan is rare to come by up here. I had to move on after Bonds wasn't signed in 2008 so I am now rooting for Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers. I really like some guys on there. I am a cook at a steakhouse. I am also an aspiring artist and poker player. Basically whatever I can do to make money to fund my baseball card addiction.
DC: Cabrera? Who's to like on the Tigers besides Sheffield? Might I suggest you start rooting for the
Devil Rays? Longoria, Pena, Upton ...
KOS: I do like Longoria; he looks like a great future star. But Miguel Cabrera and Curtis Granderson have been key players on my fantasy teams, so I have to show them love. I'm just waiting on Mig Cabs break out the .340/50/150 season he should be achieving in 2009.
DC: Good luck with. Thanks so much — both for the interview and for showing the world the kind of respect The G-POPE deserves.
KOS: Thank you for finding me. It's great to see other Bonds fans out there that aren't afraid to show their love for Barry. Keep up the good work. If I add to (the tat) or have any other Bonds news, I'll be sure to share it with ya!