What Mark Canha admired about Barry Bonds while growing up

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What Canha admired about Bonds, Manny while growing up originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

  • Programming note: Watch the full "All A's" interview with Mark Canha on Saturday, Sept. 4 after "A's Postgame Live" at approximately 3:30 p.m. on NBC Sports California.

Mark Canha’s approach at the plate is fearless. So much so, he’s not scared to get hit by a pitch. 

Growing up, the San Jose native studied a Giants legend and the way he approached the plate, just as the rest of the world did. 

“I was a big Barry Bonds guy,” Canha said on the latest episode of “All A’s.” “I was a Giants fan so I watched Barry a lot, and I watched him hit.”

“I just liked watching him because it seemed like every time it was amazing,” Canha said. “When he was going at the rate he was going at. It seemed like every time he got a pitch that was in the strike zone, he was hitting it out and I just remember being in awe, just as like, an eighth-grader, like ‘How does this guy do this? It’s amazing.’ Just every time they throw it in the zone, he’s hitting it out.”

Bonds’ legacy forever will be a part of Bay Area and MLB history. Across his 22-year illustrious career, he remains the all-time home run leader with 762 and the most walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688) in MLB history.   

“There are times as a player, even when you’re young, you’re like ‘How does he do that, every time?’ I was just in awe.”

Bonds had a way of making you stop what you were doing and turn the channel to watch him every time he had an at-bat. Something that seldomly is done to this day.  

Canha, as a right-handed hitter, also liked watching another legendary slugger. 

“I liked watching Manny Ramirez hit,” Canha said “As a right-handed hitter, I felt like I would, as a kid, emulate the most because he was right-handed and it was easier for me to copy what he was doing because what Barry was doing.” 

Manny’s swing was one thing, but his timing was just impeccable. He, just as Bonds was able to do, was able to slow things down and had time to make a decision on a recognized pitch.

The 12-time All-Star to this day still has that swing that shows off the impressive timing. 

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“I definitely remember sitting in front of the TV with a bat watching Manny Ramirez trying to like copy exactly his batting stance and trying to mimic it,” Canha said.

Talk about two great guys to try and emulate your swing after.