Thursday, August 9, 2007
Historic night in San Diego
The “journey” has been long and tedious. It has taken Barry Bonds hither, thither and yon. Through most all the Major League ball parks in the nation. He has withstood the verbal and silent barbs of an ambivealent public. Even some of his more die-hard fans have intimated that they wish his sojourn had not been marked by a cloud of suspicion.
On last Saturday evening in PETCO Park in San Diego, Bonds completed his quest of climbing to the highest pinnacle of Major League Baseball fame. He stepped up to the plateau which heretofore had been solely claimed by Hank Aaron. He sent a pitch from the Padres’ Clay Hensley over the left center field wall.
I, for one, looked to see if there would be a large number of fans in their seats. There were very few attendees who did not leave their seats when they realized the ball had turned into number 755. The last person to slowly rise was the MLB commissioner, Bud Selig. He arose, nonchalantly, and quickly jammed his hands in his pockets. There were a few who rose to issue their personal “boos.”
It was all right, Bonds had stated last week that San Diego would probably be a hostile environment. However, there was no discounting the jubilation. The majority of the fans appeared pleased to have the record broken in their arena.
When Bonds’ specially made maple bat contacted the ball, the slugger slowed his follow through and then let the bat slip from his grip altogether. At first his countenance was all puzzled concentration until he saw the fielder had no chance at making a fame robbing play. There was no gleeful smile, but his face relaxed before he started his trot into history.
Bonds isn’t done yet; he has to pass Hammerin’ Hank. That, too, will happen this season. Will Bonds’ record stand as long as the Babe’s? Who knows, but one thing is sure, it is lonely at the top. There are 10 players on the short list of 10 with the most homers. The majority of those no longer swing a bat. Willie Mays (Bonds’ godfather), was the closest to Babe (714) with 660 – Sammy Sosa (604), Ken Griffey (588), Frank Robinson (586), Mark McGwire (583), Harmon Killebrew (573) and Rafael Palmeiro (569).
The persons who know these things believe that the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, who became the 23rd player in MLB history to hit 500 homers over the weekend, has the best shot to catch Bonds. He is also the youngest, at age 32, to reach 500.
What happens to the inanimate objects which have a lot to do with the record? Bonds’ bat will probably be retired to Cooperstown. The little horsehide leather covered sphere, which sailed into the bleachers and was fielded by one Adam Hughes, will prabably be enshrined, after some negotiations, of course. Early speculations are that the ball will command six figures.
Hughes, who stated that he has been a Padres’ fan forever, said he was glad that Bonds tied the record in their arena. Like who wouldn’t be.
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