(Reuters) – Major League Baseball home run king Barry Bonds is returning to the San Francisco Giants as a special advisor, the team said on Tuesday.
The seven-times National League Most Valuable Player will attend the Giants’ spring training camp in Arizona for a week starting Wednesday and also visit the Giants’ minor league teams to work with the organization’s young players.
“San Francisco has always been my home and the Giants will always be my family,” Bonds said in a statement. “I look forward to spending time with the team, young players in the system as well as the Bay Area community.”
Bonds, who was fired as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins last October after one season, will report to Giants president and chief executive Larry Baer, who described the former player’s contributions to the team as “legendary”.
After seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bonds played for San Francisco from 1993 until he retired in 2007 as MLB’s career home run leader with 762. He also holds the single-season record with 73 homers in 2001.
Bonds’ candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame has been hurt by investigations into performance-enhancing drug use.
He was convicted in 2011 of obstructing justice during a government probe into steroid use. This was overturned in 2015 and Bonds has denied wrongdoing.
He registered 53.8 percent of the MVP vote in January, up from 44.3 percent last year, but remains well short of the 75 percent threshold needed for election.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)