Advertisement

Archive for Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bonds’ blast leaves him one shy of mark

July 28, 2007

Advertisement

Barry Bonds watches his 754th career home run sail past the stadium lights in the first inning of San Francisco's game against Florida Friday night.

Barry Bonds watches his 754th career home run sail past the stadium lights in the first inning of San Francisco's game against Florida Friday night.

— Hammerin' Hank, he's right behind you.

Barry Bonds hit his 754th career home run Friday night, and needed just one more to tie Hank Aaron's record.

The Giants star sent a 2-1 pitch from rookie Rick Vanden Hurk over the wall in left-center in the first inning for a solo shot against the Florida Marlins, his 20th homer of the season.

Bud Selig wasn't there to see it, sending MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy in his place. The commissioner was back in Milwaukee, preparing to go to Sunday's Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Bonds did hear from Michael Jordan, though. A taped message from MJ played on the video board between innings.

After a brief pause to put specially marked baseballs in play, Bonds drew two balls before a called first strike. Then, the 96 mph fastball was gone - a drive estimated at 420 feet.

As usual, Bonds stood and watched his ball sail away, then began yet another trot.

Fans, already on their feet for Bonds' first at-bat, screamed in delight when it was clear he had homered - Bonds' first at home since he connected for No. 750 on June 29 against Arizona's Livan Hernandez. "Barry! Barry!" they chanted as he rounded the bases.

The fan who retrieved No. 754 was Eric Stormer, a general contractor and season ticketholder from Martinez.

In his first chance to tie Aaron, Bonds walked on five pitches in the third inning. He also walked in the fifth and sixth innings.

Home is certainly where his heart is. Bonds has hit many of his milestone homers here - Nos. 500, 600 and 700 along with 660 and 661 to tie and pass his godfather, Hall of Famer Willie Mays. It is also where he hit 715 last May 28 to pass Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. No. 714 came across San Francisco Bay in Oakland.

In 2001, Bonds hit the final three of his 73 homers at home, breaking Mark McGwire's season record of 70.

Bonds had gone homerless in five games and 18 at-bats since hitting two against the Chicago Cubs on July 19 at Wrigley Field.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.