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Barry Bonds steps up to plate for Bryan Stow family

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Is it permissible to say something positive about Barry Bonds? Thank you. Bonds pledged to pay for the college education of Bryan Stow’s two children. That’s a splash hit of another sort.

Barry’s taken a lot of knocks, some of them deserved, certainly. So how about some praise? How about a high-five for someone who can use a few compliments?

Bonds took steroids. He admitted as much in that unneeded trial, said to cost $60 million, where he was convicted not of perjury, but of obstruction of justice. The verdict is being appealed.

That was our money. This is his money. And when the children of Stow, the Giants fan beaten senseless by thugs at Dodger Stadium, reach college age in a decade or so, a college education will cost more than $100,000 a year per child.

Barry can afford it. But it’s the gesture that counts. A man who’s been belittled and chastised, who some in the Giants organization wish would never again come close to AT&T Park, showed understanding while not particularly showing himself.

The pledge, according to the Stow family attorney, Thomas Girardi, was made April 22, when Bonds visited Stow in a Southern California hospital.

No headlines. No chest-thumping. Just a heartfelt move from a man Giants fans — seemingly the only people on the planet to endorse Bonds — have another reason to admire.

He’s not alone in offering financial help to the Stow family, of course. Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ two-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher, gave $25,000 to the Bryan Stow Fund, additionally embellished by donations from individuals both in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

The disclosure of Bonds’ generosity was made by Girardi on Tuesday when he filed a new lawsuit on behalf of Stow’s family against the Dodgers and embattled team owner Frank McCourt.

Stow, a single parent from Santa Cruz, was attacked in the parking lot at Dodger Statium by two men after the season opener March 31 between the Giants and Dodgers.

After a massive search for the attackers, including posting of the suspects likenesses on 200 billboards in Southern California, police Sunday arrested Giovanni Ramirez following a tip from his parole agent.

But Ramirez claims he has an alibi, insisting three witnesses can vouch he was at home, not at the ballpark Opening Day, and prosecutors said more investigation is required before charges can be filed.

Stow, brought up to San Francisco, and in a medically induced coma because of brain damage, opened his eyes recently but remains in critical condition. Medical expenses have been called “massive.”

Girardi said of the lawsuit, “This is not a case where the family, ‘Wants money.’ This is a case where they want to take care of him and make sure those kids are taken care of.”

When it comes time for those kids to attend college, they will be, able to because of Barry Bonds. When he visited Stow several weeks ago, he left a signed bat for the children. Now we learn he left something more significant.

Barry Bonds may be less than a perfect individual. He can be unfriendly and arrogant. But in a time of crisis, he came through. As he once did on the diamond.

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.