|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
|The top MVP winners in each of the four major professional sports leagues:|
|Years (Hart Trophy): 1980-87, 1989|
|Years (NL): 1990, 1992-93, 2001-03|
|Years: 1971-72, 1974, 1976-77, 1980|
|Years: 1957 (AP), 1958 (UPI), 1963 (UPI/Bell), 1965 (UPI/AP). Shared MVP honors with Y.A. Tittle (UPI) in '57; Gino Marchetti (AP) in '58; Tittle (AP) in '63; and Pete Retzlaff (Bell) in '65.|
Without a doubt, Bonds would have gotten my MVP vote (if I had one) this year. Albert Pujols and Gary Sheffield had tremendous years, with Triple Crown-type numbers. But if opponents had to pitch to Bonds, he'd threaten for the Triple Crown every year.
Bonds hits for average, power and run-production. Then there's his on-base percentage ... above .500 for the third straight year! And his slugging percentage has averaged in the neighborhood of .800 the past three years. The combination of abilities reflected in these statistics makes Bonds one of the greatest players of all time.
Is he the best of all time? To me, it's impossible to compare ballplayers from era to era. So much was different in past eras: the ballparks, the baseball, the travel, the use of the bullpen. All that makes it difficult to make a definitive statement that Bonds (or anyone else) is the best of all time. But, without question, Bonds is the best ballplayer of his era. And you can certainly make a case that he's the best ballplayer of all time.
Looking ahead, Bonds can win another MVP (or even more) if he wants to. He keeps his body in top physical shape. He just has to decide if he wants to continue to push himself. How important is the all-time HR crown to him? If he wants it, I believe it's his.