Barry Bonds

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Barry Bonds : biography

July 24, 1964 –

Bonds met Susann ("Sun") Margreth Branco, the mother of his first two children (Nikolai and Shikari), in Montreal, Quebec in August 1987. They eloped to Las Vegas February 5, 1988. The couple separated in June 1994, divorced in December 1994, and had their marriage annulled in 1997 by the Catholic Church. The divorce was a media affair because Bonds had his Swedish spouse sign a prenuptial agreement in which she "waived her right to a share of his present and future earnings" and which was upheld. Bonds had been providing his wife $20,000/month in child support and $10,000 in spousal support at the time of the ruling. During the hearings to set permanent support levels, allegations of abuse came from both parties. The trial dragged on for months, but Bonds was awarded both houses and reduced support. On August 21, 2000, the Supreme Court of California, in an opinion signed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, unanimously held that "substantial evidence supports the determination of the trial court that the [prenuptial] agreement in the present case was entered into voluntarily."In re Marriage of Bonds, (2000).

In 2010, Bonds’ son Nikolai, who served as a Giants batboy during his father’s years playing in San Francisco and always sat next to his dad in the dugout during games, was charged with five misdemeanors resulting from a confrontation with his mother, Sun. Barry accompanied him to San Mateo County Superior Court.

After the end of his first marriage, Bonds had an extensive intimate relationship with Kimberly Bell from 1994 through May 2003. Bonds purchased a home in Scottsdale, Arizona for Kimberly.

On January 10, 1998, Bonds married his second wife, Liz Watson, at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel in front of 240 guests. The couple lived in Los Altos Hills, California, with their daughter Aisha during their ten and a half years of marriage before Watson filed for Legal Separation on June 9, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. On July 21, 2009, just six weeks later, Watson announced that she was withdrawing her Legal Separation action. The couple were reconciled for seven months before Watson formally filed for divorce in Los Angeles, California on February 26, 2010. On June 6, 2011, Bonds and Watson filed a legal agreement not to take the divorce to trial and instead settle it in an "uncontested manner", effectively agreeing to take the proceedings out of the public eye and end the marriage privately at an unspecified later date without further court involvement.

Several of Bonds’ family and extended family members have been involved in athletics as either a career or a notable pastime. Bonds has a younger brother, Bobby, Jr., who was also a professional baseball player. His paternal aunt, Rosie Bonds, is a former American record holder in the 80 meter hurdles, and competed in the 1964 Olympics. In addition, he is a distant cousin of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.

Among Bonds’ many real estate properties is a home he owns in the exclusive gated community of Beverly Park in Beverly Hills, California.

Professional career

Draft and Minor Leagues

Bonds was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (6th overall) of the 1985 Major League Baseball Draft. Bonds joined the Prince William Pirates of the Carolina League and was named July 1985 Player of the Month for the league. In , he hit .311 in 44 games for the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League.

Pittsburgh Pirates (1986–1992)

Before Bonds made it to the major leagues in Pittsburgh, Pirate fan attendance was low, with 1984 and 1985 attendance below 10,000 per game for the 81-game home schedule. Bonds made his major league debut on May 30, 1986. In 1986, Bonds led National League (NL) rookies with 16 home runs, 48 RBI, 36 stolen bases and 65 walks, but he finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting. He played center field in 1986, but switched to left field with the arrival of centerfielder Andy Van Slyke in 1987. In his early years, he batted as the leadoff hitter. With Bonds and Van Slyke in the outfield, the Pirates had a venerable defensive tandem that worked together to cover a lot of ground on the field although they were not close off the field. The Pirates experienced unprecedented fan enthusiasm with Bonds on the team and set the club attendance record of 52,119 in the 1987 home opener. That year, he hit 25 home runs in his second season, along with 32 stolen bases and 59 RBIs. Bonds improved in 1988, hitting .283 with 24 home runs. In 1988, the Pirates broke the record set the previous year with 54,089 attending the home opener. By 1988, Bonds fit into a highly respected lineup featuring Bobby Bonilla, Van Slyke and Jay Bell. Bonds finished with 19 homers, 58 RBIs, and 14 outfield assists in 1989, which was second in the NL. Following the season, there were rumors that Bonds would be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jeff Hamilton and John Wetteland, but the team denied the rumors and no such trade occurred.