Bonds now sits all alone atop the leader board. Tuesday, he homered his way past the man who held the homers record since 1974. Hank Aaron is now number two, moving aside for the new all-time home run king, Barry Bonds.
"I knew I got it. I was like, finally," said a smiling and relieved Bonds, feeling the weight of the homers
chase finally lifted off his back. "I'll tell you one thing: I'm going to
hit a lot better from now on."
The homer was hit in the fifth inning of the 24th consecutive sold out Giants game, a 3-2 pitch off Nationals lefty Mike Bacsik. It was a solo shot, and it broke a 4-4 tie. The ball landed a bit to the right of dead center, into the bleachers an estimated 435 feet from the plate.
Bonds stood at the plate, threw up his arms and smiled. He ran the bases, was greeted at the plate by his son, Nikolai, and partied on for the next several minutes as the game was delayed.
Bonds' family went onto the field, as did his godfather, Willie Mays. After Bonds' recent homers at home, the Giants have played a taped message on the scoreboard from a great athlete, including Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan, and Tuesday's was delivered by Aaron himself.
When I saw Hank Aaron (on the scoreboard), that made everything," Bonds said. "That made my whole career. That's someone we looked up to my entire life."
"He's always the home run king to us. I'll never be able to thank him
At his news conference, Bonds was asked if the record was tainted because of his link to the steroid scandal.
"This record is not tainted at all. Period. You guys can say whatever you want," Bonds stated without any further explanation.
He was also asked if he had a message for Greg Anderson, his childhood friend. Anderson allegedly became a steroid dealer for BALCO, and currently sits in prison for refusing to testify before the grand jury and rat out Bonds, who's being investigated by the feds for perjury.
"Why are we in that conversation?" Bonds asked the reporter. "Just another negative question. I'm not going to get into that."
The Giants wound up losing the game to the Nationals 8-6, another negative.
Starting pitcher Barry Zito was booed on a night the other Barry was cheered. Zito gave up four runs,
three homers, and six hits in five innings. His ERA now is 5.16.
Bonds' 756th home run ball was retrieved by a man in a Mets jersey, Matt Murphy. Bonds homered to right-center, and a mad scramble for the ball followed. It was in section 144, and the ball skipped over rows 3, 4 and 5, and several fans were seen with bumps and bruises.
All in all, minor casualties for such a historic night.
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