Sunday, August 05, 2007

Barry Bonds hits #755 home run

Well, Barry Bonds has finally hit Home Run #755, tying Hank Aaron's record. From YouTube:

You can read all the details of the game and Barry's bashin' home run in The San Francisco Chronicle:

San Diego -- Throughout the pursuit, Barry Bonds' world had become suffocating. He chased Hank Aaron while allegations of steroid abuse chased him. To his left, to his right, above and below, the media and fans crowded him, watched him, questioned him, cheered him and taunted him.

When he caught Aaron on Saturday night, hitting his 755th home run in the second inning of the Giants' 3-2, 12-inning loss to the San Diego Padres, Bonds finally got his reward - a chance to run the bases in solitude, to breathe, to know that no man who ever wore a major-league uniform has hit more home runs than he has.

Thirty-three years, three months and 27 days after Aaron hit his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth, Bonds met Aaron with a 382-foot shot against San Diego right-hander Clay Hensley, a onetime Giants prospect who two years ago drew a 15-game suspension in the minors for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds' 755th homer went to left field, just like his first homer in 1986. It clanged off the facing of the low second deck at Petco Park, a stadium, legend holds, that was built with deep dimensions to be "Bonds-proof." A crowd of 42,497 reacted with more cheers than boos, flying in the face of yearslong fears that this feat would be greeted with embarrassing derision.

Four hours after he homered, and eight hours after he took 113 swings in an unusual, early batting-practice session inside an empty stadium, Bonds expressed his relief with getting it done.

"This is the hardest thing I've ever gone through in my entire career," Bonds said. "It's a different feeling than any of the other ones. I really am lost for words at this moment."

Aaron has not embraced Bonds' pursuit of his record, but Bonds has embraced Aaron and did so again when they stood together at 755.

"We as baseball players, especially as African American ballplayers, have so much respect for Hank Aaron and all our other African American athletes as well," he said. "They have paved the road to what we are doing now. No one at any time, shape, form will ever allow me to say anything different about Hank Aaron (than) what a great person he is and what a great athlete he is."

It was fitting Bonds tied the record against the Padres. Bonds' 87 home runs against them are his most against any opponent. Hensley became the 445th pitcher to surrender one.

After homering, Bonds walked three times. When he left in the eighth for pinch-runner Rajai Davis, he received a standing ovation from a large segment of the crowd.

His next opportunity to pass Aaron is expected to be Monday, when the Giants open a seven-game homestand with the first of four games against the Washington Nationals. Even before Saturday's game, manager Bruce Bochy said Bonds probably will rest in today's series finale, and Bonds confirmed it, saying, "I am not going to be in the lineup tomorrow. I'm going to be celebrating with my family."

Congratulations Barry!

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