SF Giants fans who have been speculating about the disappearance of a plaque honoring Barry Bonds from AT&T Park can speculate a little less. The memorial to the tarnished hero wasn’t removed by the Giants organization, as some have suggested: it was, says Giants and stadium officials, apparently stolen.
Bonds, 48, was convicted in a federal trial in San Francisco in 2011 of obstructing justice in his 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating a Burlingame laboratory’s sales of performance-enhancing steroids and hormones to professional athletes.
“Barry Bonds was convicted on the basis of a single statement of 52 words primarily about his relationship with his father,” defense attorney Dennis Riordan told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this February.
While playing with the Giants from 1993 to 2007, Bonds set the Major League Baseball career home-run record of 762, as well as the single-season record of 73, which he batted in 2001.
On August 7, 2007, Bonds hit his 756th home run, broke the previous record set by Hank Aaron. A 6-foot-high plaque honoring that achievement was mounted in AT&T Park near where that fateful ball hit the stands.
And now, reports the Chron, it’s been stolen.
According to the Chron, officials plan on reviewing “a week’s worth of security video” in an effort to track down the culprit.
Until then, the organization is “in the process of having a new and improved version made,” said Staci Slaughter, the Giants’ senior vice president of communications told the Chron.
Bonds admitted to a grand jury in 2003 that he had taken substances known as “the clear” and “the cream” from Anderson, but said he thought they were flaxseed oil and arthritis ointment. The substances were later identified as so-called designer steroids that had been engineered to be undetectable.
The former Giants star is one of 11 athletes, trainers and officials of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative who were charged with either illegally distributing drugs or obstructing justice or lying in the grand jury probe. All eventually pleaded guilty or were convicted of various counts at trials.
He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to one month of home confinement and 250 hours of community service, but has been allowed to delay his sentence during the appeal.