The Matchup: These stars of the diamond had different quests to the sweet 16. Bonds, easily bested Dan Severn with a rousing 89 percent of the vote. Kipnis pulled the upset over Cain Velasquez, winning 60 percent of the vote over the former Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year.
No. 1 Barry Bonds
Bonds, MLB’s home run king was as popular and polarizing a player the game has ever seen. The now 53-year-old has started to re-emerge in the game serving as the Marlins’ hitting coach for a season, as well as an advisor to the Giants. The 14-time all-star is also the major league career leader in walks and intentional walks.
Career-defining moment: August 7, 2007. On a chilly San Francisco summer night, Bonds launched an 86-MPH offering from Nationals’ left-hander Mike Bacsik for career home run No. 756. Bonds passed Hank Aaron and sent the sell out crowd at AT&T Park into a frenzy. In a very polarizing moment for baseball, fans began debating who was truly the home run king due to the belief Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
Where is he now? Bonds now serves as a special advisor to the CEO of the Giants. The Giants will be retiring Bonds’ No. 25 jersey on Aug. 11 of this year. Bonds is in his fifth year of Hall of Fame eligibility, and received 56.4 percent support in January short of the required 75 percent for admission.
.347 batting average
45 home runs
Member of the All-College World Series Team in 1983 and 1984
Named to the All-Time College World Series Team in 1996
MLB-record 762 home runs
MLB single-season record 73 home runs in 2001
Career .298 batting average
12-time Silver Slugger Award winner
No. 5 Jason Kipnis
Kipnis, the starting second baseman for the Cleveland Indians has become a productive, everyday big league player. He was the starting second baseman for the Indians during its 2016 World Series run.
Career-defining moment: Game four of the 2016 World Series, Kipnis hits with runners on the corner and nobody out in the top of the seventh. Kipnis turns on an inside fastball from Travis Wood and lines out over Wrigley Field’s right field fence, helping the Indians get a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series. Kipnis grew up a Cubs fan in Northbrook, Illinois and hit a home run against his childhood team on baseball’s biggest stage. Kipnis’ Tribe would go on to blow that 3-1 lead, as the Cubs won their first World Series since 1908.
Where is he now? The two-time all-star has struggled at the plate in 2018, hitting for a career low batting average of .215.
CWS semifinals appearance (2009)
Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year (2008)
Drafted in 4th round (2008, Padres)
Drafted in 2nd round (2009, Indians)
Pac-10 Player of the Year (2009)
NCAA All-American (2009)
2013 & 2015 All Star second baseman
World Series appearance (2016)
6th in AL with 31 steals in 2012.