Ron Kittle (above) is no fan of Barry Bonds ” not after his tense encounter with the slugger at Wrigley Field in 1993. Here’s an excerpt from Kittle’s book, describing how he approached Bonds with a couple of Bonds’ game-worn San Francisco Giants road jerseys, asking him to autograph them for an auction for Kittle’s charity for children with cancer:
“I paid about $110 of my own money for them, so they could be auctioned off at the golf outing. I did that all the time for stars like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Derek Jeter and Roger Clemens. When I tell them how their autographs help the cause, every player gladly signs ” with one exception.
I walked up to Bonds at his locker in the Wrigley Field visitors’ clubhouse, introduced myself and said, “Barry, if you sign these, they’ll bring in a lot of money for kids who need help.”
Bonds stood up, looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t sign for white people.” If lightning hits me today, I will swear those were his exact words. Matt Williams and other Giants were in the room and they heard what Bonds said.
I stood there for a minute, and the veins in my neck were popping. I’ve only been that mad a few times in my life. I was going to beat the (heck) out of him, really kick his (butt), but Williams saw what was happening, so he came over and got between us. Matt said, “Ron, that’s just the way he is.”
I said, “White guys aren’t the only ones who get cancer,” but Bonds had turned his back on me and walked out of the clubhouse. Somebody must have run in and alerted Dusty Baker, who was the manager of the Giants then.
So Dusty came out of his office, put his arm around me, gave me a big old hug and said, “Aw, Kitty, he’s just got that (bad) attitude again.” Dusty gave me an autographed team ball for the auction, but I never got the Bonds jerseys signed. Later, I gave one of them to Scott Paulson, the Wilson sporting goods representative, and shredded the other one. But that day, I drove from Wrigley Field at about 150 miles per hour and sat there, fuming.
I’ll never forget what that man said. So if Barry Bonds is looking for a breath of fresh air to live and I’m the only one who has to give it to him, unfortunately, the man will die. I just don’t like guys like that.”
Hard to say what to make of this unless anyone else corroborates Kittle’s story. I mean, Barry’s probably signed a few checks for Greg Anderson and Victor Conte, two card-carrying white men.