When Barry Bonds lived in Murrieta

I found this amusing anecdote in a biography called “Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero,” describing an incident in 1994 when Bonds lived in Bear Creek.

Looking to put in a quick workout, one day Bonds drove to Murrieta Valley High School, located 10 minutes from his home, and headed to the football field for some sprints. Soon a swarm of students were leaving the building to watch a superstar in the flesh. The administration did not take to this kindly. Doug Highlen, a Murrieta Valley High teacher, wrote an angry letter to Bonds and sent a copy to the local North County Times. “You parked your flashy car in a no-parking zone in front of the office [then] headed to the football field and proceeded to do windsprints,” Highlen wrote. “Mr. Bonds, the taxpayers of this community did not spend $38.5 million to build you a personal training facility.” School district officials spoke with Bonds and told him he was welcome to use the facilities — after school hours.

At Murrieta Valley High School, a large semi-circular classroom building overlooks the football field and track, so I can imagine what it was like for students peering out of their classroom windows to see a star baseball player running around.

I was never sure how true the rumors of Bonds’ Murrieta residency were, but this removed all doubt.

Barry Bonds' former home in Murrieta

After writing the first draft of this post I discovered that Carl Love, a longtime family friend and columnist for the Riverside Press-Enterprise, wrote in 2007 about the days when Barry lived in town. Apparently the slugger was a big fund raiser for local schools, though he always refused to sign autographs.

Here’s more from Pearlman’s book, this time about Bonds’ home in the swanky (for Murrieta) Bear Creek neighborhood:

During the off season, Bonds retreated to their Murrieta, California, house, where he hoped to unwind far away from the media glare of Major League Baseball. “The place they lived in was absolutely gorgeous,” says Kevin Cook, who interviewed Bonds for Playboy in the winter before the ’93 season. “A palace.” With a chuckle, Cook recalls that Bonds took special pride in the yellowish-beige paint covering many of the walls. He had purchased so many gallons that Sherwin-Williams named the color “Bonds 103.” The house featured a juice bar, a pizza oven, a pool with a waterfall, and two enormous stained glass windows to honor the occupants — one in the shape of a sun, the other a baseball diamond.

(Photo courtesy of Redfin. More photos of the house. Note that the real estate website says the house is bank owned!)