Ask any ball player and they’ll tell you the respect of their peers is more important to them than anything generated by baseball fans, reporters or analysts. In terms of respect, the Intentional Bases on Balls statistic is as good a measure of respect as any in the game. Say what you will about Barry Bonds, but for four straight years he was the most feared hitter in baseball. Period. Barry holds not only the Single Season record for Intentional Bases on Balls with 120 in 2004, but he also owns the top three slots in the IBB category: (68 in 2002 and 61 in 2003). Willie McCovey is fourth (45 in 1969) In addition, Bonds also holds the career record for IBBs with 688 and Hank Aaron is a distant second with 293.*
Bonds may never get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but when it counted on the field he was the most respected hitter of all time.
*IBB was first tracked as a statistic in 1955.