Hospital playroom named after Barry Bonds
by Ed Eagle, MLB.com
Former big league slugger Barry Bonds had a children’s playroom named in his honor on Friday after donating nearly $250,000 for renovations at UCSF Medical Center, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Bonds’ donation enabled the hospital to add a new television, audio system, arts and crafts table, and other toys to the playroom. It also included a fund that will maintain and purchase new toys and pay for staff to oversee the room for the next four years.
The Bay Area native Bonds, who spent the final 15 seasons of his 22-year-career with his hometown Giants, has donated his time and money to the hospital in the past by visiting patients and their families and hosting golf tournaments.
“He really has been a hero for us,” Roxanne Fernandes, executive director of UCSF Children’s Hospital, told the AP. “He kept saying, ‘I want to do more that will touch all these kids.’ We would tell him about various programs we had, and he walked by this room and said, ‘I want to make that playroom an amazing place for kids.'”
At the conclusion of the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the San Francisco hospital, Bonds played with the patients, handed out T-Shirts, posed for pictures and signed autographs.
Bonds did not talk with reporters Friday, but he did speak to a crowd assembled on a deck outside the renovated playroom.
“It’s more of a blessing for them to have a place to go to feel normal for a moment … to have time with their family, for whatever that time may be,” Bonds said. “I’m just one piece of the whole team and I’m proud to be part of that team. I just hope that with everyone’s hard work and everyone’s prayers that we’re able to contribute to the children’s lives.”
Bonds, who last played in 2007, is baseball’s all-time leader with 762 career home runs. He faces 10 counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice stemming from grand jury testimony in December 2003 during which Bonds stated under oath that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.