Barry Bonds joined the San Francisco Giants pre-season on Wednesday as a batting instructor and special adviser to the team’s executive director.
The former Giants slugger began working in Arizona with Giants batting coach Hensley Meulens and minor league players participating in training camps. At first there was some information that he was going to be in some kind of office work. Afterwards, the Major League Home Run King will become a sort of ambassador for the Giants, representing the team in community activities and other events.
“I’ll play whatever role they want,” said the retired San Francisco star. “All I ever wanted was to be a Giant.”
Bonds worked last season as a Miami Marlins’ batting coach, a position from which he was fired.
The 52-year-old ex-player looked relaxed and smiling as he talked about his return to the Giants, the team he won five of his seven Most Valuable Player of the National League and set the historic mark of home runs.
Bonds said he would like his father to be alive to see him again in the Giants uniform. Bobby Bonds died in 2003. He said he also hopes to meet his famous godfather, the legend of Giants Willie Mays.
“I want to help our community, our team, San Francisco, the Giants, the younger players, keep the traditions alive,” he said. “The same thing that my godfather has done, what my father did … is the right thing to do. I’m from San Francisco, I grew up here, and I want to help the kids in our community become fans of the Giants, good ones”.
Bonds had 762 home runs in his 22 years in the majors, of which he played 15 with the Giants until his last season in 2007.