Saturday, January 3, 2015

1978 Topps Baseball #242 - Barry Bonnell

  • Barry Bonnell was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1975. Bonnell didn't stay with the organization for very long -- on May 7, 1975 he was traded (with Jim Essian and $150,000) to the Atlanta Braves for Dick Allen and Johnny Oates.
  • Barry's rise to the majors was pretty quick. He played in the minors for two years and then had a hot start in AAA Richmond in 1977 (.380 in 14 games). Bonnell was brought up to the majors in early May of 1977. Barry batted .300 in 100 games for the Braves in 1977.
  • In 1978 Bonnell was a backup outfielder. The Braves also took a brief look at Bonnell at third base, but that ended after Bob Horner was drafted. Barry batted .240 in 117 games for the Braves in 1978.
  • Bonnell got the majority of the starts in left field in 1979. He started to show some power and batted .259 with 12 home runs. Early in the season Bonnell objected to female reporters being allowed in the Braves' locker room. After the 1979 season Bonnell was traded (with Pat Rockett and Joey McLaughlin) to the Toronto Blue  Jays for Chris Chambliss and Luis Gomez.
  • Barry was a starting right fielder and center fielder for the Blue Jays for most of the year in 1980. He was hit in the face by a Lary Sorenson pitch in August. Early in the season Barry expressed his relief to be out of the turmoil that was affecting the Braves at the time. Bonnell batted .268 with 13 HR and 56 RBI in 127 games.
  • Bonnell was a backup in 1981 and batted .220 in 66 games.
  • In 1982 Barry bounced back and batted .293 in 140 games.
  • Barry had a career high in batting average (.318) and hit 10 home runs in 121 games in 1983. After the 1983 season Bonnell was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Bryan Clark.
  • Bonnell played all of the outfield positions plus first and third base for the Mariners in 1984. He batted .264 in 110 games.
  • Barry played sparingly in 1985 (.243 in 48 games) and in 1986 (.196 in 17 games). Bonnell was released in July 1986. He offered to fly Mariners owner George Argoyos' plane in order to earn the rest of his 1986 salary.
  • A bout with valley fever hastened the end of Barry's career. Since his retirement from baseball Bonnell has served as a bishop in the LDS church and has been an airline pilot. Barry is now the co-owner of Roy's Boys Pet Toys.
  • 1978 Stats:  .240, 1 HR, 16 RBI in 117 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • April 10 - Had three hits and scored the tying run in the bottom of the 9th inning as the Braves came from behind to beat the San Diego Padres 8-7.
    • Aug 1 - Went 4 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBI to help the Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 15-3.
    • Oct 1 - Had five hits (three of them off of Tom Seaver) in the Braves' 10-8 loss to the Reds.