Bonds Hits 755th Homer to Tie Aaron
Sunday, August 5, 2007; 2:49 PM
SAN DIEGO -- With a short swing, a half stare and an emphatic clap of his hands, Barry Bonds rounded the bases. After so many days and so many tries, he had finally caught Hammerin' Hank.
"The hard part is over right now," Bonds said.
High above the field in a private box, baseball commissioner Bud Selig was a reluctant witness to history. Choosing to overlook the steroid allegations that have dogged the San Francisco slugger, Selig watched Bonds tie Hank Aaron's home run record _ his mouth agape, hands stuffed in pockets and nary a cheer on his lips.
No. 755 was a strong shot for all the doubters, an opposite-field drive of 382 feet to left-center, moving Bonds within one swing of having baseball's pinnacle of power all to himself. It came on a 2-1, 91 mph fastball Saturday night.
"This is the hardest thing I've had to do in my entire career," he said. "I had rashes on my head, I felt like I was getting sick at times."
And it was a long time coming.
It had been eight days and 28 plate appearances since Bonds hit his 754th home run, and he came out for early batting practice Saturday, hoping to break his slump. He did it quickly, leading off the second inning.
"No matter what anybody thinks of the controversy surrounding this event, Mr. Bonds' achievement is noteworthy and remarkable," Selig said in a statement.
Selig said either he or a representative would attend the Giants' next few games "out of respect for the tradition of the game, the magnitude of the record and the fact that all citizens in this country are innocent until proven guilty."
Bonds said he hadn't spoken to Selig, but welcomed him anytime.
Aaron was not in attendance. The Hall of Famer had previously said he would not follow the chase in person.
"It's a little bit different than any other milestone I've ever gone through," Bonds said. "It's Hank Aaron. I can't explain the feeling of it, it's just Hank Aaron."