Barry Bonds is still waiting for his bust to be constructed and immortalized in Cooperstown at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. That day may never come, as a once fierce ethical debate gradually fades into the background with each passing year. His fate, along with that of a few other alleged steroid guys, rests in the hands of the Era Committee. The polarizing MLB legend does not have to wait long to receive another eternal honor, however.

At long last, Bonds is being inducted into the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame later this season, per the team's X account. The all-time home run leader is intertwined with the San Francisco Giants (added to their Wall of Fame in 2017), but he left an indelible mark in Three Rivers Stadium.

In fact, the Pirates have not come close to reaching the pinnacle of those Bonds-led squads that advanced to three consecutive National League Championship Series in the early 1990s. He won two MVP awards, narrowly and controversially missed out on a third (to Terry Pendleton in 1991) and earned three Gold Gloves during his seven years in Pittsburgh.

“It's great, that's where my career started,” Bonds said after learning of the big news. “That's who drafted me. Couldn't have had a better manager, better team, better starting point for me. It was perfect. We built a bond that no way it’s ever going to be broken. To be able to tell my kids ‘your dad's gotten into the Pirates Hall of Fame.' This is just a great moment.”

Barry Bonds gets his due despite tumultuous past with Pirates

The skipper who Bonds praises is the Cooperstown-bound and fellow Pittsburgh 2024 inductee, Jim Leyland. He started his illustrious managerial career during the five-tool superstar's rookie year (1986) and manned the clubhouse for Bonds' entire tenure.

Two-time World Series champion and three-time All-Star Manny Sanguillen joins them in forever being commemorated in Pirates lore, according to's Jim Lachimia. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24 when Pittsburgh hosts the Cincinnati Reds.

Although Barry Bonds' enshrinement felt inevitable given his immense on-field contributions to the franchise, most fans can probably understand why it took so long for the Pirates to formally recognize him. While the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs clouded the Riverside, California native's time with San Francisco, the contempt he drew from Pittsburgh centered around his attitude.

Bonds had conflicts with teammates and management and soured the city with his personality. He was considered to be selfish and difficult to get along with by many. His well-documented postseason struggles, which include a .245 batting average in 48 games and his infamous late throw to home plate in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS versus the Atlanta Braves, only compounded the negative perception the public had of him.

Hence, he never really morphed into the beloved local hero his stats purported him to be. Though, the iciness has melted away considerably over the past few decades, with a stomach-churning trend of futility making it easier for fans to appreciate Bonds' greatness.

Will Pirates fans erupt for Barry Bonds?

San Francisco Giants former player Barry Bonds stands in the dugout before the game against the Texas Rangers at Oracle Park.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh crowd was largely warm to the 14-time All-Star when he presented Andrew McCutchen with the NL MVP award 10 years ago. One has to expect that the city will be even more welcoming towards Barry Bonds when he arrives at PNC Park in a few short months.

If nothing else. Buccos supporters should be thankful for the powerful dose of nostalgia his return will provide. Celebrating three figures who were instrumental to some of the best days this organization has enjoyed in the last 50 years will ideally serve as a much-needed remedy for the chronic headaches fans have endured so far in the dismal 2020s.

Good fortune might be on the horizon, however. The Pirates (23-26) have won four of their last five and will have plenty of chances to chip away at the Milwaukee Brewers' five and a half game divisional lead. It would be somewhat fitting if the team is playing genuinely competitive baseball when Bonds rolls into town in August. Perhaps he can even inspire the clubhouse.

Stranger things have happened. For the generational slugger, this grand occasion will be further affirmation of the stellar body of work he amassed in the MLB. It is not an invite to Cooperstown, New York, but this Hall of Fame achievement should not be viewed as a consolation.