By Frederick H. Lowe
The U.S. Justice Department has struck out against home run king Barry Bonds, but not before the government ruined his career and delayed his entrance into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The department announced Wednesday in court documents that it would not appeal a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that cleared Bonds of obstruction of justice concerning his alleged use of steroids.
A jury convicted Bonds of obstruction in 2011, and he was sentenced to two years probation and one month of home confinement. He appealed his conviction and in April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the District Court ruling.
In a three-page decision issued Tuesday, the Solicitor General’s office announced it would not appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme, known as a writ of certiorari.
Although Bonds has finally been cleared, the court case and his conviction destroyed his career.
No team would sign him after the scandal erupted even though he was one of the greatest Major League Baseball players to wear a uniform.
Bonds, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants, set a single season of home run record in 2001 by knocking 73 balls out of the park. He also hit a record 762 home runs during his 22-year Major League Baseball career.
But in his third year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, Bonds was named on only 36.8 percent of the ballots, far below the 75 percent needed for induction.