In case you missed the news earlier today, Giants legend Barry Bonds has officially offered to pay for the college education of Bryan Stow’s children in a move that helps to provide some security for a family that has endured incredible chaos. Yet the indirect winner of such a charitable moment is Barry Bonds himself, who reminds us that there’s a real person behind the endless allegations, accusations and debate.
Tyler and Tabitha Stow, who are 12- and 8-years-old respective, also received a signed bat from Bonds, who spent the day with Stow and his family in the hospital on April 22. Stow’s attorney Thomas Girardi made it clear that Bonds did this without a press conference, and this isn’t to insinuate that Bonds did so for any spotlight. It’s just hard to miss the opportunity to discuss a player who could use a public image makeover despite what he intended to do or not with the gift to Stow’s children.
The reality is that Barry Bonds is the leper of Major League Baseball. Along with Pete Rose, two of the game’s best hitters of all time must yell “unclean” any time they want to do anything associated with the game. Only their hometown fans stick beside them, and even then there are some who hurl insults. And despite behavior that certainly mars the image and/or records broken, the talent is often forgotten and the humanity is almost always lost.
So it’s nice to see Bonds in a positive light for a change — reminding us that he’s still around and that he’s still ostracized. Some might say that he deserves to remain on the fringes of baseball history, but here’s hoping that history is kinder to Bonds as a case and as a person. Perhaps gestures like the one toward Bryan Stow’s family brings some indirect comfort and healing for Bonds himself.