A sudden and rapid appreciation by this group is unlikely, to say the least. The findings of MLB aging curve studies are consistent: players get worse as they get older. In a study by Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs, players from 1995 to 2005 showed a steady increase in home run production before tapering off after their 30th birthday . From 2006 to 2013, the curve changed to a consistent decline that began closer to age 25. In other words, in the post-PED era, a player’s power production is immediately on the downswing after he hits his 24th or 25th birthday.
But Bonds will always be remembered foremost for what he did with his bat 762 times across 22 years. It sort of washes the other, littler accomplishments away, being the Home Run King. After a while one imagines they start to slip together in the mind. When you hit the most home runs in the history of the sport, the list of guys you've gone yard off of is going to end up long and diverse. For Bonds it includes: Mike and Greg Maddux, Pedro and Ramon Martinez, Tim and Todd Worrell, and two of the three Perez brothers, Carlos and Pascual (he never faced Melido, who pitched in the American League); Randy Johnson, arguably the best left-handed pitcher in baseball history, and Casey Fossum, arguably the worst; every member of the 2001-2004 Oakland Athletics starting rotation; every member of the 1995 Atlanta Braves starting rotation; Felix Hernandez, the current ace of the Seattle Mariners; Bud Black, the current manager of the San Diego Padres; Jerry Dipoto, the current general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; fireballer Eric Gagne; knuckleballer Tim Wakefield; screwballer Fernando Valenzuela; and two different men named Greg Harris.
The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players' League (1890), an attempt to return to the National Association structure of a league controlled by the players themselves. Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.