08/04/2003 7:22 PM ET
Bonds named NL Player of Month
SAN FRANCISCO -- Most feared, most fearsome and most featured player in baseball today?
Not too many arguments about this one: Barry Bonds.
Managers agree, hence the frequent infield shifts on the Giants slugger. Pitchers, too, what with the intentional and quasi-intentional, don't-throw-it-NEAR-the-guy walks. Opposing fans give Bonds the verbal business through boos and seemingly endless chatter in the left-field bleachers.
Got news for ya -- it's not working.
Bonds has proved he is rarely distracted by outside influences, and during July he hit a league-leading .415 with 11 homers and 21 RBIs to earn National League Pepsi Player of the Month honors.
The 39-year-old veteran helped San Francisco maintain its big lead in the NL West over that span, as he also led the league in walks with 26, a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .581 on-base percentage as well as scoring 25 runs.
The Giants had a nine-game winning streak during July and were 19-8 overall.
On July 12, Bonds tied a Major League record when he hit 30 homers for the 12th consecutive year, matching the mark set by Jimmie Foxx from 1929-40. He currently leads the Majors with 34 homers, a .511 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage.
Bonds will receive an engraved, specially designed trophy from the T.R. Miller Company for winning the award.
A 17-year big leaguer, Bonds has 647 career homers and needs only 13 more to tie godfather Willie Mays for third on baseball's all-time list at 660. Bonds also is only one double shy of reaching 25th place with Al Oliver (529) on the two-bagger chart.
Bonds has been on a tear lately, homering in 19 of his last 45 games while batting a lusty .360.
Giants outfielder Marquis Grissom was also nominated for the honor after hitting .318 with four homers and 15 RBIs.
Former Giant Livan Hernandez, now with the Expos, earned NL Pitcher of the Month honors. He led the NL in July with 50 innings pitched, three complete games and 43 strikeouts in six starts.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By Rich Draper / MLB.com