Barry Bonds has hit his 714th career home run, tying the legendary number set by Babe Ruth.
The agonizing wait is over for Barry Bonds. He and the Babe are even at 714. Bonds tied Babe Ruth for second place on the career home run list Saturday, ending a nine-game homerless stretch with a shot into the first deck of the elevated stands in right-center during San Francisco’s 4-2, 10-inning victory over the Oakland Athletics.
“This is a great accomplishment because of Babe Ruth and what he brought to the game of baseball and his legacy in the game of baseball,” Bonds said. “This and a World Series ring to me would be the ultimate. He changed the game of baseball. … It’s just great to be in the same class.”
The second-inning drive landed about eight rows up in the seats overlooking the high fence just to the left of the out-of-town scoreboard. Though the A’s don’t provide estimated distances on home runs, this one appeared to travel about 400 feet â€” far from being one of Bonds’ trademark behemoth drives.
Booed when he was introduced before the game, the Giants’ star received a long standing ovation after his home run, and the game was delayed about 90 seconds.
Next up is Hank Aaron’s record of 755. “This took a lot off me. It’s good,” Bonds said. “A lot of relief. Well, until something else comes up.”
The Giants plan to commemorate No. 715 in their own ballpark. Major League Baseball has said it won’t do anything special to celebrate Bonds moving into second place, and a commissioner’s office spokesman said baseball had no comment Saturday.
Ruth passed Sam Thompson to move into second place on June 20, 1921, when he hit his 127th home run. Aaron passed Ruth in April 1974 â€” and now Hammerin’ Hank’s mark is the only one left for Bonds to chase. Yet Bonds has said that could be a long shot considering he turns 42 on July 24, is playing on a surgically repaired right knee and with bone chips floating around in his left elbow.
Bonds’ breaking Aaron’s record seemed a sure thing two years ago. Losing almost the entirety of last season, though, and clearly feeling the effects of injuries that would have made a less determined man retire long ago, however, would make hitting another 42 homes seem unlikely. I wouldn’t count Bonds out, though.
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