You could say the San Francisco Giants retired Barry Bonds’ uniform number long before they took it off his back 11 years ago.
Maybe it happened in 2000, when they opened a beautiful waterfront ballpark built with private money that flowed more freely because of the excitement that Bonds brought to the field. Or in 2001, when he hit 73 home runs to break the single-season record. Or 2007, when he hit his 756th to set the career mark.
Whatever the date, there came a time when everyone understood that no player after Bonds would don a San Francisco Giants uniform bearing the number 25.
On Saturday, it becomes official.