Barry Bonds
Film Reviewed by Kam Williams

DVD Chronicles Career of Living Baseball Legend

SportsCentury Greatest Athletes: Barry Bonds
Click to order via Amazon

Running time: 43 minutes
Studio: ESPN Home Entertainment

DVD Extras: Five bonus featurettes with extended interviews and highlights.


DVD Review by Kam Williams

Good (2 stars)

Sometime this summer, San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds will undoubtedly break baseball’s most revered record, namely, Hank Aaron’s mark of 755 home runs for a career. However, there’s virtually no hoopla surround his assault on history, primarily because of the suspicion that the only reason he has been able to hit so many homers was because he was on an illegal substance that had turned him into an age-defying superhuman.

Even the commissioner of the sport hasn’t committed to be in attendance on the day that Bonds hits number 756. and it doesn't help that Barry has always had a bad relationship with the press, which has long labeled the slugger as surly, given that he has rarely granted interviews, and is given to walking out on a press conference at the slightest suggestion of anything controversial.

Nonetheless, ESPN couldn't really ignore Barry in compiling its Sports Century Greatest Athletes Series, so they’ve released this bio-pic despite the absence of recognition of his achievements outside of the Bay Area, besides boos during road games. The DVD includes self-serving comments by its subject, plus accolades from his late father, Bobby; his godfather, Willy Mays; Bob Costas, Peter Gammons and numerous other sports journalist, mostly from San Francisco.

Barry whines a lot about not being able to take the abuse anymore, which definitely did not engender any feelings of empathy in this viewer. "You wanted me to jump off the bridge, I’ve finally jumped," he cracks in the wake of the waves of criticism leveled at him after he admitted rubbing a cream on his arm he claims he didn't know contained anabolic steroids.

Is Barry Bonds the greatest home run hitter ever, or a cheater who was helped by performance enhancing drugs? This balanced documentary doesn't endeavor to answer that question, leaving it to the viewer to draw the obvious conclusion that he just might be both.

Black Power Line

Read More Film Reviews