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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Giant among men
Barry Bonds, of the San Francisco Giants
Bonds has won everything but the World Series

The World Series between the Giants and the Angels begins on 19 October.

Barry Bonds is being mentioned in the same breath as baseball greats Ty Cobb and Ted Williams a lot at the moment.

In general, this is no bad thing - the three men stand alongside Babe Ruth as some of the best hitters to ever grace the game.

But, at this time of year, such comparisons remind Bonds of the one thing missing from his career CV.


My legacy will be what it is regardless
Barry Bonds

The Giants slugger, like Cobb and Williams, has never landed a World Series title.

And, at 38 years of age, this year's Fall Classic - against upstart AL rivals Anaheim - may be his last chance to put the record right.

Bonds plays it cool with the press, with whom he has always had a difficult relationship.

"My legacy will be what it is regardless," he said after the Giants clinched the National League pennant on Monday.

But, make no mistake, the powerful left-fielder would love to get his hands on a winner's ring.

To do so would mean a lot to the "first family" of baseball.

  Bonds by the numbers
Shirt: 25 (left-field)
Debut: 1986
MLB clubs: 2
Career average: .295
Home runs: 613
Hits: 2,462
RBIs: 1,652
Stolen bases: 493
National League MVP: 4
All-star appearances: 11
Championships: 0

Bonds' dad, Bobby, failed to win MLB's biggest prize during a long and successful career.

And his godfather, the legendary Willie Mays, made only a handful of appearances at the season finale.

Their experiences suggest the need to seize any World Series moment.

But Bonds Jr may be forgiven for feeling destiny is on his side.

After toiling away for 17 seasons without a sniff of a title, his moment comes on the back of two monstrous batting years.

San Francisco's number 25 hit an incredible 73 regular-season home runs in 2001, to shatter Mark McGwire's big league record.

This term, he batted a life-time best .370, adding 110 RBIs and another MVP award for good measure.

Bobby Bonds throws out a pitch during the NLCS series
Barry Bonds' father never won a World Series

If the pattern holds, Bonds will top the lot by smashing a walk-off, World Series-winning homer into the San Francisco bay.

But Fall Classic's have a habit of ignoring fairy-tale scripts.

When hitting machine Ted Williams reached his only World Series in 1946, he inexplicably failed to deliver, averaging a pitiful .200.

And the brutally-competitive Cobb also suffered.

Despite sharpening his boot spikes and sliding feet first at opposition fielders, his Detroit Tigers lost out in three straight title games between 1907 and 1909.

Bonds - like Cobb and Williams - has already secured a spot at baseball's top table.

But his future induction into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame will be all the sweeter with a World Series 2002 ring on his finger.

All the news ahead of the 2002 baseball World Series

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