Friday, September 5
500 mourners crowd Riverside church

Associated Press

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Bobby Bonds, who died last month after a lengthy illness, was honored in his hometown at a crowded memorial service.

Bonds, the father of Barry Bonds and one of the first major leaguers to combine home run power and base-stealing speed, was ill for nearly a year with lung cancer and a brain tumor before his death in San Francisco on Aug. 23. He was 57.

The memorial service Thursday in a Riverside church was attended by about 500 people, including former Seattle Mariners first baseman Alvin Davis and former Minnesota Twins pitcher Tom Hall, both former Riverside residents.

Former coaches and classmates from Riverside's Poly High School, where Bonds played baseball, football and track before signing with the Giants in 1964, also attended.

A three-time All-Star and the MVP of the 1973 mid-season game, Bonds hit 332 home runs and stole 461 bases for the Giants, New York Yankees, California, Chicago White Sox, Texas, Cleveland, St. Louis and the Cubs.

Bonds' 89-year-old mother, Elizabeth Bonds, sat proudly during the ceremony as speakers celebrated her son's achievements.

Bonds "was Riverside's greatest athlete," Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge said during the service.

A statue of Bonds and other recent inductees into the Riverside Hall of Fame will be unveiled Sept. 28.